FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 01, 2010
Contact: DEA Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A.
Public Information Officer
TEL: (973) 776-1143
DEA New Jersey Division and CentraState Healthcare System
Host Red Ribbon Campaign
Over 150 local school kids participated in the Red Ribbon Event
NOV 01 -- (NEWARK, N.J.) – John G. McCabe, Jr., the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Daniel J. Messina, PhD. FACHE, LNHA, Senior Vice President and Chief Operation Officer, CentraState Health care System, announced today that over 150 children participated in DEA’s Red Ribbon program at CentraState’s Star and Barry Tobias Health Awareness Center located in Freehold, New Jersey.
The campaign, which is the nation’s largest drug prevention effort, began after drug traffickers in Mexico kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in March 1985. The Red Ribbon Campaign is dedicated to helping to preserve Special Agent Camarena's memory and further the cause for which he gave his life, the fight against the violence of drug crime and the misery of addiction.
"The Red Ribbon program encourages the entire community to adopt drug free lifestyles. Today we are one large community unified in taking a stand against drugs and violence. The campaign brings together parents, school, businesses, healthcare facilities, volunteers, and law enforcement agencies so innovative methods are developed to keep our communities drug and violence free.” said McCabe.
Approximately 150 Oceanport and Freehold area students in grades 5 through 8 participated in
the DEA/CentraState Healthcare System celebration of Red Ribbon Day. To kick off
the program, DEA New Jersey Division’s Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A., Public
Information Officer/Demand Reduction Coordinator provided the keynote speech. Students then
attended five breakout sessions: helicopter tour, humvee explore, anti-drug informational
display, anti-bullying information seminar, and information on gateway drugs and peer pressure.
Each child received a red ribbon and wrist band displaying the program goals.
Red Ribbon week started as a local effort in Camerena’s hometown of Calexico, California,
when Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Camerena’s high school friend, Henry Lozano,
created Camarena Clubs to ensure fond memories of Kiki. The National Family Partnership
(NFP) created a national campaign of observance, to be held each October, as proclaimed by the
U.S. Congress and chaired by then President and Mrs. Reagan.
By gathering together in special events and wearing a Red Ribbon and wrist band during the last week in October, Americans from all walks of life demonstrate their opposition to drugs. Red Ribbon Week will be celebrated nationally from October 23-31. Approximately 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events every year.
The program was sponsored by the following agencies: Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division, CentraState Healthcare System, New Jersey National Guard, New Jersey Counterdrug Task Force, Freehold Township Police Department, Freehold Borough Police Department, Oceanport Police Department, Freehold Intermediate School, Barkalow Middle School, Maple Place School, Freehold Community Drug Alliance, and the Noontime Optimist.