Red Ribbon Week kicking off Friday in St. Mary Parish

 
By JEAN L. KAESS
The Operation Red Light motorcade, actively kicking off Red Ribbon Week Saturday, will begin in Amelia, running through the parish and ending in Glencoe.
Diane Wiltz, St. Mary Parish schools at-risk interventionist, said Red Ribbon Week begins Friday with Decorate Day and publication of an informational tabloid in The Daily Review and the Banner-Tribune.
Saturday, a convoy of emergency vehicles lines up under the Amelia bridge at 8 a.m. before traveling through every St. Mary Parish community via U.S. 90 and ending in Glencoe. The motorcade begins at 9 a.m., breaks for coffee and soft drinks at the Central Office Complex in Centerville and ends at Glencoe Charter School where lunch will be served. An award will be given to the department with the most participants.
Wiltz, who serves as the campaign coordinator, said there is a reason the committee plans Red Ribbon Week every year.
“While often times it seems bleak as far as the headway we’re making on the prevention of drug use and abuse, we must remember the words from Winston Churchill: ‘Never, never give up.’”
The remainder of the schedule for Red Ribbon Week is:
—Sunday, Day of Prayer.
—Monday, Reach Out Day. Morning announcements are sent to schools to disseminate different facts to students regarding drugs and the history of Red Ribbon Week in order to inform students about both the facts and dangers of drugs, Wiltz said. The messages continue throughout the week.
—Tuesday, Character Counts Day, Tie in character traits to help make wise decisions through the programs pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship.
—Wednesday, Wear Red Day. Encourage every St. Mary Parish resident to wear red. Put out red Christmas bows early on doors, trees, etc. “to show that yes, I support a drug free St. Mary.”
—Thursday, DARE Day, during which law enforcement officials visit schools. “We appreciate the coordination of efforts between law enforcement and schools,” Wiltz said, noting that officers in the schools can have the effect of becoming prevention through education instead of enforcement. “Students see that the cops aren’t the bad guys all the time,” she said.
—Friday, Tobacco-free St. Mary Day. Campuses and properties belonging to the St. Mary Parish School Board are in compliance with Clean Air Act of Louisiana, Wiltz said. Both smokeless tobacco and cigarettes are discouraged.
—Saturday, Oct. 26, Parade of Schools down Victor II Boulevard (by Cannata’s) followed by the Zoo to Boo Family Fun Day. The fun day will be at the Morgan City Barnyard Zoo, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a costume contest at noon with prizes awarded. Game booths are to be manned by parish 4-H clubs or school organizations. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be sold.
—Sunday, Oct. 27, Day of Prayer.
Chitimacha Police Chief Blaise Smith is the chairman for the 2013 campaign.
 

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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