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Red Ribbon Week began after the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agency Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Camarena had been working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico for over four years. After his murder, citizens in Camarena’s hometown of Calexico, California donned red ribbons in his honor. The red ribbon became their symbol for prevention in order to reduce the demand of illegal drugs. The Red Ribbon Week campaign eventually gained momentum throughout California and later the United States. In 1985, club members presented the “Camarena Club Proclamation” to then First Lady Nancy Reagan, bringing it national attention. The campaign was formalized in 1988 with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons. Today, the eight day celebration is sponsored by the National Family Partnership (previously known as the Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth), and has become the annual catalyst to show intolerance for drugs in our schools, work places and communities. Each year, during the last week in October, more than 80 million young people and adults show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free life by wearing or displaying the Red Ribbon.

Red Ribbon Week Coordinator for Pentwater Public Schools is teacher, Mrs. Erika Fatura. You may find out more information or find out how you can help by contacting her at efatura@pentwater.k12.mi.us or 231-869-4100 ex. 243.