The anti-drug initiative raises awareness for drug related issues faced by the community and to develop ways for parents, children and others in the community to combat the problem of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
“Gordon County parents, schools, and communities will join others across Georgia to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse by wearing and displaying red from Oct. 25 – 29,” said Shawn Mashburn of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce.
Red Ribbon week was established by Congress in 1988 in memory of a drug enforcement administration agent, Enrique “KiKi” Camarena, who was killed while in the line of duty, according to Mashburn.
Gene Kostreba of Libery Tire Recycling in Calhoun and member of the Chamber’s Drugs Don’t Work committee is involved in RRW for two-reasons, he said.
The first is his 12-year-old daughter, and his concern for her exposure to drugs in her life. His second motivation for involvement is the need for his employees to be drug-free while at work.
According to Kostreba, Liberty Tire Recycling has been a drug-free workplace since its opening, eliminating a great deal of problems associated with drugs and alcohol.
“This (drug prevention and awareness) is really my passion,” he said.
Throughout RRW the chamber’s Drugs Don’t Work Program will be distributing 12,000 red message bracelets throughout the city and county schools from preschool- grade 12, said Mashburn.
“Our community sponsors events to raise awareness and to show our commitment to reducing the demand for drugs,” Mashburn said.
Schools throughout the county will be participating in RRW by holding different “spirit days” throughout the week, according to Georgette Hunt, counselor and RRW coordinator at Belwood Elementary School.
There will be spirit days for each day of RRW so that kids can get involved while learning about the effects of drugs, according to Hunt.
“If they make their minds up now that that’s (drugs) not what they want with their lives, they’re less likely to do it when they’re older,” she said.
At the conclusion of RRW for Belwood, Gordon Central high school cheerleaders, football players and band members will be hosting a pep rally to encourage the younger children to stay drug-free.
Students have also been participating in drug prevention seminars and talks so they will be educated and know how to handle these problems when they arise, according to Hunt.
Wednesday, Oct. 27 is designated as “Wear Red Day” for business, schools and individuals throughout Gordon County to show their support in the fight against drugs and alcohol.
According to Mashburn, companies that are certified drug-free will save 7.5 percent on their worker’s compensation insurance.
“The process is simple and easy,” said Mashburn. “Red Ribbon Week is a great time to inquire about certification.”
For more information on how to become a drug-free workplace contact Shawn Mashburn at the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce at (706) 625-3200 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.