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National Red Ribbon Week celebrates drug-free lifestyles

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Starting Monday through Oct. 31, the Minot Air Force Base community joins people across the country in celebrating a drug-free lifestyle during the 20th annual National Red Ribbon Week. 

"As a symbol of the united and visible commitment to a drug-free America, red ribbons will be placed around the base by volunteers and activities will be held to emphasize drug abuse awareness," said Frank Mayer, Red Ribbon Week coordinator. 

Red Ribbon Week was started after drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered Kiki Camarena, a U.S. drug enforcement administration agent, in 1985. The National Family Partnership began wearing red ribbons to symbolize their commitment to a healthy, drug-free society. 

"The main thrust of Red Ribbon Week is to fight drug abuse in communities," Mr. Mayer said. "One of the best ways to prevent drug abuse is to educate our young people."
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and McGruff the crime dog will be part of Red Ribbon Week activities to educate the young. 

"Because schools have regularly scheduled testing (during Red Ribbon Week,) activities and lessons promoting a drug-free lifestyle will be held Nov. 20-22 at Dakota Elementary, North Plains Elementary and Memorial Junior High School," said Mr. Mayer. 

"Drugs can bring nothing but pain and heartbreak in the end," Mr. Mayer said. "That's why Red Ribbon Week is important. It allows children, and not just children but adults as well, to take a moment and think about the negative aspects of drugs." 

Adults and children can show their Red Ribbon Week patronage by participating in a 5-K run, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday outside the McAdoo Sports and Fitness Center, weather permitting. Interested individuals must sign up for the run the day of the event. For more information, call 723-2145. 

Also, Red Ribbon Week information displays will be located at the Base Library, the 5th Medical Group Atrium and the base commissary Monday through Oct. 27. 

"Everyone can make a pledge to this effort of saying no to drugs. We encourage everyone to join this effort and show their support of a drug-free lifestyle and community by wearing your Red Ribbon this week," Mr. Mayer said. 

For more information on Red Ribbon Week activities, or to get a red ribbon, contact Frank Mayer at 723-5780.
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