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Red Ribbon Event Promotes Drug Free Living to Students

Approximately 250 elementary school children, teachers, parents, and staff gathered on the lawn of Sherrelwood Elementary School on a crisp fall day to welcome a Lakota Army helicopter to their school.

The reason, a life lesson: “Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free.”

The children all cheered with delight as the helicopter descended onto the school grounds. The craft was carrying various Army, Air Force and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) members to promote the Red Ribbon campaign, which is an annual awareness program to tell children about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention.

Red Ribbon week runs the week of October 23 with a robust social media and information campaign to reinforce the message about drug prevention. The program was created in 1985 in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena who was killed while working to break up a drug trafficking operation.

The helicopter’s pilot spoke to the audience about how she became a pilot and invited everyone present to take the Pilot’s Pledge. She also encouraged them to make good choices and work together as a team in everything they do.

The children were invited to walk up to the helicopter and ask questions and talk to the military staff. Then each child received a red ribbon from the military staff.

“The helicopter stole the show, but it is such a good way to get the message across to the children about the dangers of drugs,” said Sherrelwood Principal, Cindy Davis. “We frequently talk to the kids about the dangers of picking up something and eating it, whether it looks like a gummy bear or looks like a SweetTART, but to always take it to their parents and ask first.

Denver7 was also onsite and covered the event. Watch the story here.