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Red Ribbon Week is on for 2020. The annual celebration encouraging young people to stay away from drugs and gangs is set for Oct. 24 to Oct. 30. There’s a major change this year in the schedule:  Courtney Kom, spokesperson for the Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment, said Family Fun Day will be at the start of the week on Oct. 25. In previous years, it had been the concluding event of the week.

This year’s theme is, “It’s Clear to See, We Live Drug Free!” #2020vision.

Kom stated the reason for moving Family Fun Day to the start of the week was so it would not conflict with the Town of Parker’s “Trunk or Treat” and other Halloween events. She said it was possible Family Fun Day would have to be held virtually.

In year’s past, Family Fun Day was held at Pop Harvey Park on the Sunday that marked the end of Red Ribbon Week. It featured activities and games with an anti-drug theme, all of which are free for the young people attending. There may be demonstrations of drug-interdiction techniques, such as drug-sniffing dogs looking for contraband. The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s helicopter has made appearances at Family Fun Day.

In a press release, Kom said there are still a lot of items about Red Ribbon Week that need to be worked out, and this is made more difficult by the uncertainties caused by such events as the coronavirus pandemic.

“With this incredibly uncertain time, we are trying to move forward as normal as possible,” Kom said in a press release. “With that being said, there may be a few changes as we get closer.” 

PAACE has several forms related to Red Ribbon Week that are available online or at Players Ninth Street Youth Center, which is located on Ninth Street next to Pop Harvey Park. Two of these are forms for t-shirts and donations.

T-shirts for adults are $15 and shirts for Youth are $8. In year’s past, PAACE has had a form for youth t-shirts that went through the schools. Kom said they will evaluate whether or not this will be an option for us this year once schools are back in session. 

As for the donation form, PAACE will have their standard donation form for businesses, groups and others who would like to have their names on the back of a Red Ribbon Week T-shirt, or printed on posters and banners. 

Kom said PAACE will keep everyone informed on information for business decorating contests and other events. She added there was a “high probability” they would not be doing incentives this year, but added PAACE will keep everyone updated on that as well.

“We have a full week of virtual fun planned and are excited to bring fun and positivity to our community members,” she said. “As always our RRW success only happens with all of your support and we look forward to partnering with you again this year!” 

If there are any questions, or for more information, call Kom at 928-669-0175 or send her an e-mail to Courtney.paace@gmail.com.

Calendar of Events- 

Saturday, Oct. 24 - Bouse RRW Kick-Off Parade

Sunday, Oct. 25 - Family Fun Day

Red Ribbon Week – Oct. 26 – Oct. 30

About Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week was created in honor of US Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was tortured and murdered in 1985 in Mexico, allegedly by members of a drug cartel.

Within weeks of Camarena’s death, his Congressman, Duncan Hunter, and Henry Lozano, a high school friend, launched Camarena Clubs in Imperial Valley, Calif. Club members pledged to lead drug-free lives in honor of Camarena and the sacrifices of other Americans who fought against illegal drugs. The members began wearing red ribbons as a symbol of Camarena’s memory.

Today, Red Ribbon Week is a national event that encourages young people to lead drug, gang and violence-free lives.

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