The Ely Times
The Ely Elks Lodge No. 1469 has partnered with the Ely Rotary Club, White Pine County School District, White
Pine County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Investigations and Probation Office, the District Attorney’s Office and the Learning Bridge, to create a committee called the Red Ribbon Committee.
Their focus is “Drug Free America” during the week of Oct. 23 –31. Programs will be presented by members from the committee as well as students from the middle school leadership group. This is part of a nationwide campaign for comprehensive drug-abuse prevention education designed to create awareness, build coalitions and support healthy drug-free lifestyles.
More than 35 businesses in the community will be involved in a scavenger hunt. Participating students will locate the businesses and answer drug awareness questions for prizes. This will begin on October 24th, and continue through the week.
A proclamation was signed by the White Pine County Commission, City of Ely, and the White Pine County School District designating the week of October 23-31st as National Red Ribbon Week.
The committee would like to make this an ongoing campaign to better inform the youth and parents about drugs. Other projects will include a drug awareness poster contest presented by the Ely Elks Lodge for state and national competition, a drug quiz contest and other projects to promote the ongoing need for Red Ribbon Week here in Ely. Gayle Bartlett, Ely Elks Lodge Exalter Ruler noted how impressed she was with the committee. She said “this committee really took off within a matter of weeks, and everything has really come together”.
How did Red Ribbon Week begin? The National Family Partnership first started in 1985. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, parents and youth angered by the event, sparked communities to come together and wear a Red Ribbon as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.
Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. His mother tried to talk him out of joining the DEA, but he told his mother “I’m only one person, I want to make a difference”.
On Feb. 7, 1985 the 37-year-old agent left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agen’t s side and shoved him into a car. One month later, agent Camarena’s body was found. He had been tortured to death. In honor of Camarena’s battle against drugs, friends, neighbors and family members began wearing red badges of satin. Some of the new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. The red ribbon became a symbol of Camarena’s memory.
For additional information, please contact the Ely Elkds Lodge at 775-289-4904.