Smithtown, N.Y. - The Town of Smithtown, in coalition with In the kNOw, the National Family Partnership and Horizons Counseling and Education Center will participate in Red Ribbon Week this month, from October 23rd to October 31st. This year's theme; “Life is Your Journey… Travel Drug Free” encourages young students to think and plan for a bright future. As a part of this years initiative, local school districts and youth groups will participate in a number of artistic crafts and contests in addition to tying red ribbons at home.
Residents can view the Red Ribbon display at the Whisper the Bull monument as early as Sunday October 21st. Various town buildings will also proudly display red ribbons, including the Highway department
Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program. Every year the initiative brings awareness for drug abuse to millions, interacting with students on a national scale during the last week of October. Residents can get involved by wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events. Young people can pledge to live a drug-free life on social media or other popular outfits.
Since its establishment in 1980, National Family Partnership has devoted its efforts to the well-being of youth. Today the National Family Partnership is recognized as a national leader in drug prevention, education and advocacy. With the mission of leading and providing support for families and communities, the National Family Partnership educates young people on the benefits of a drug free lifestyle.
In 1985, the National Family Partnership sponsored the first Red Ribbon Campaign. The campaign began in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena. Parents and youth across the country wore red ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the horrors and destruction that are caused by drugs in America. Since its beginning in 1985, the red ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world and provided support and sparked awareness to families and communities that have been affected by drug abuse.
When Agent Camarena decided to join the United States Drug Enforcement Agency he told his mother "I'm only one person, but I want to make a difference." Following his murder, friends and family of Camarena decided to wear red ribbons to celebrate his memory and lifelong commitment to making a difference. What started off as friends and family celebrating the memory of a loved one has turned into a something much bigger. Today the Red Ribbon is seen as a catalyst that mobilizes communities to educate youth and encourage drug prevention. Agent Camarena was only one person who wanted to make a difference but his memory and lifelong commitment has helped create entire communities that are eager to make a difference and put an end to the destruction that is caused by drugs.