Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – At Tuesday’s annual Red Ribbon week, entities collaborated together to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. The annual event now in its 32nd year, nationally, was held in front of the Tom Green County Courthouse at 12 noon.

Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley’s Raymond Valadez, DFC Prevention Director, was the point man in charge of the program and the guest speakers, representing the following agencies: Concho Valley C.A.R.E.S. Coalition (Community Action and Resources for Empowerment and Success), ADACCV, Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, the San Angelo Police Department and the Department of Public Safety.

32 years ago, Red Ribbon began in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America. In 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration, per www.redribbon.org/about

The first guest speaker was TGC Sheriff’s Office representative, Lt. Keith Muncey. Lt. Muncey asked the Ambleside School of San Angelo, children, what was this year’s Red Ribbon theme? “Your future is key, so stay drug free.”

 

The Ambleside School of San Angelo children, sang the song, "My Country This of Thee," to conclude the ceremonies.

Ambleside School of San Angelo and voice teacher, Shannon Hassell. 

After Muncey’s brief remarks, he was followed by DPS Trooper, James Baker. Baker illustrated the theme with a large master key made out of cardboard to get the point across to the children and the community.

“This master key can get you into any door, any opportunity that you want to do in life,” said Baker.

Baker informed the children that each of them had their own master key to their future. “But people want to take those keys away from you by putting things in your life that hinder you from achieving your goals.”

Baker made his point by saying that some of those negative aspects that could take those opportunities away from them consist of alcohol, drugs, bullying, etc” does that take my door of opportunity away,” he asked, to which the children all responded with a yes.

“Take advantage of every opportunity you have,” concluded Baker.

The third person to speak was San Angelo Police Department, Chief, Frank Carter.

“I along with these other speakers don’t want you kids to ever experience that kind of life of drugs and alcohol,” said Chief Carter. “You are destined for something greater and I want you to repeat after me. “I am destined for something greater!”

The ceremony concluded with ADACCV CEO, Eric Sanchez reading the proclamation that designated October 23-31 as Red Ribbon Week. An excerpt of that proclamation read.

“Whereas, substance use disorder is particularly damaging to one of our most valuable resources, our children, and are a contributing factor in the three leading causes of death for teenagers – accidents, homicides, and suicides; and Whereas,

NOW, THEREFORE, for all these reasons, the Alcohol &Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley and Concho Valley CARES is asking the residents of the city of San Angelo to observe Red Ribbon Week October 23-31, 2017 and call upon all residents, parents, governmental agencies, public and private institutions, businesses, hospitals, schools and colleges in the city of San Angelo to support efforts that will increase community awareness and support for individuals and families coping with alcoholism and drug addiction in our community,” read Sanchez.

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