A group of local students from Eastern Alamance High School, along with Jim Albright, Coordinator of the North Carolina Behavioral Health Equity Initiative for Alamance County, came before the Mebane City Council last week to read a Proclamation the elected board approved in recognition of an upcoming week to promote a drug-free society.
“I am representing Alamance Citizens for a Drug-Free Community,” Albright said during the public comments segment of the City Council meeting. “We are working with the Dream Team over at Eastern Alamance.”
To be a member of the Dream Team, which is represented on the faculty level at EAHS by history teacher and football coach Patrick Stokes, students have to pledge to be drug-free. The students, which are typically upperclassmen members of varsity teams at Eastern, engage in a variety of local public service activities throughout the Mebane community.
Eastern High cross country members Ryan Catalano, Alex Catalano, and Logan Marine represented the Eagles at the City Council meeting. The students joined with Mebane Mayor Glendel Stephenson to read a Proclamation of Red Ribbon Week.
The Red Ribbon Campaign is the largest and oldest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week - October 23 through October 31 each year.
“Red Ribbon Week is an ideal way for people and communities to unite and take a stand against drugs. To show your personal commitment to a drug-free lifestyle, the symbol of the Red Ribbon,” Alex Catalano said.
The Red Ribbon Campaign was started when drug traffickers in New Mexico murdered a DEA agent back in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying the red ribbon as a display of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug-free America.
“Whereas, alcohol and other substance misuse in this nation have reached epidemic stages, affecting people from all communities and all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds,” Marine read from the proclamation. “And Whereas, it is imperative that visible and unified prevention, education, treatment, and recovery efforts, including harm reduction efforts, be launched and supported to eliminate the demand for drugs, to mitigate drug-related harm, and promote the health and well-being of all people.”
“And Whereas, local collaboration of concerned groups, sectors, systems, and individuals are working together towards the common goal of enhancing a community of care by addressing the factors in homes, schools, and communities, that increase the risk of substance misuse, and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.”
“Whereas the National Family Partnership and Alamance Citizens for a Drug-Free Community are sponsoring the National Red Ribbon Campaign, offering citizens the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to a substance-free lifestyle, and no misuse of legal or illegal substances,” added Ryan Catalano.
“And Whereas, the National Red Ribbon Campaign will be celebrated in every community in America during Red Ribbon Week - October 23 through 31st. And Whereas, business, government, parents, law enforcement, media, medical institutions, schools, senior citizens, service organizations, youth, and others will demonstrate their commitment to healthy, drug-free lifestyles by wearing and displayed red ribbons during this week-long campaign.
Mayor Stephenson completed the proclamation.
“And Whereas, the City of Mebane publicly commits its resources to ensure the success of the Red Ribbon Campaign,” Stephenson read. “Now, therefore be it resolved that the City of Mebane does hereby proclaim October 23-31, 2019, as Red Ribbon Week, and encourages its citizens to participate in substance issues prevention and education activities, making a visible statement that we are strongly committed to a drug-free community.
“Thank you so much for coming, and for standing up for a drug-free community. We wish you well, and we wish our community well,” the Mayor added to the students, who received a round of applause from the City Council and the spectators on hand at the monthly municipal meeting.