This past Saturday, October 30, 2021, the Local Coordinating Council for Partners for a Drug Free Cass County held their annual Red Ribbon Week Breakfast and Award Ceremony to honor the students who participated in the poster and essay contest as part of the Red Ribbon Week Campaign. 55 winners, 45 posters and 10 essays, were chosen from hundreds of submissions from local students ranging from elementary to middle school to help raise awareness and promote a drug free lifestyle in today’s youth. $1,600 in prizes were awarded.
This year’s theme was “Drug Free Looks Likes Me.” Students were asked to create posters and write essays on what being drug free means to them.
Essay and poster winners are chosen by participants of Cass/Pulaski Community Corrections’ Treatment Programs. The judging process helps participants realize the implications their drug use has on children and their families. Judges are repeatedly surprised every year that young children are able to accurately draw pictures of syringes and marijuana and many of the essay’s share the impact of loved one’s addictions from the eyes of child. This year, high school students were asked to submit designs that promote a drug free lifestyle to be featured on a local billboard.
Approximately 180 people attended this weekend’s ceremony, including Mayor Chris Martin, who issued a proclamation to kick-off the event. Mayor Martin stated “The challenges our youth face today is not the same as when America became devoted to the well-being of our children in 1986, but the mission has never changed: Support our nation’s families and communities in nurturing the full potential of healthy, drug free youth.” Other attendees include Cass County Prosecutor, Noah Schafer and Cass County Sheriff, Ed Schroder, who participated in the awards ceremony, in addition to Rick Hollering, President of Youth Services Alliance, Director Dave Wegner, Director of Cass/Pulaski Community Corrections and Cathy Collins, Fulton County Jail Commander and former LPD Detective.
Red Ribbon Week was created in memory of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. In his memory, Red Ribbon Week continues today to bring communities together in creating awareness and encouraging youth to commit to a drug free lifestyle. For more information about Cass County Local Coordinating Council: Partners for a Drug Free Cass County, click here.