CADFY and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World Co-Sponsor Red Ribbon Week 25th Anniversary Awards Ceremony
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa were among those honored at a Red Ribbon Week Ceremony held Wednesday, October 26, 2011, at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood.
Californians for Drug-Free Youth [CADFY] and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World commemorated the 25th anniversary of Red Ribbon Week on Wednesday, October 26, with an awards ceremony at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. Awardees included Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mr. Henry Lozano, Director of Los Angeles County Teen Challenge and Urban Ministries Initiatives, who created Red Ribbon Week in 1985.
Mr. John Redman, Executive Director of CADFY, stressed the importance of community support in combating drug abuse.
“Our communities have faced an onslaught of challenges and hardships over issues due to substance abuse. And I believe that our children have the right to make informed positive choices and pursue their dreams. They have the right to grow up in a safe and drug-free community. And that is why I am so very proud of our partnership with the Foundation for a Drug-Free World,” Redman said.
The ceremony was emceed by Erika Christensen whose role as the heroin-addicted teenage daughter of the White House drug czar in Traffic not only earned her critical acclaim but also brought her face-to-face with the gruesome consequences of drug abuse. Actor Jason Dhoring, known for his roles in Veronica Mars, the Moonlight series and his recurring role in the hit TV show Ringer, presented the awards.
The Red Ribbon Week Awards honored civic and community leaders in drug education, prevention and rehabilitation.
The “Drug Prevention through Education Award” went to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca for his work to rehabilitate offenders through education-based incarceration. Upwards of 1,600 youth have also been trained on the “Truth About Drugs” curriculum of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World through the Sheriff’s VIDA [Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives] program. Through Sheriff Baca’s help and encouragement, some 200 members of his Sheriff’s Clergy Council have now trained as Drug-Free World Prevention Specialists. Chief Jim Lopez accepted the award on the Sheriff’s behalf.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa received the “Community Prevention and Awareness Award” for his comprehensive anti-gang strategy. Mayor Villaraigosa launched the Summer Night Lights Program four years ago, providing organized nighttime activities in parks for at-risk youth during the months of the highest gang violence. The results have been dramatic: a 17 percent reduction in violent gang-related crimes and an 86 percent reduction in gang-related homicides the first year of operation. The award was accepted on his behalf by Ms. Alicia Avalos, Director of the Summer Night Lights Program.
The “Substance Abuse Treatment Award” went to Mr. Henry Lozano, founder of Red Ribbon Week, former deputy assistant to the president and director of USA Freedom Corps during the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Lozano now heads Los Angeles County Teen Challenge and Urban Ministries Initiatives. The 10 Teen Challenge centers across Southern California returned some 700 program graduates to drug-free lives in the past year alone.
The “Say No To Drugs” team received the “Drug Prevention Outreach Award” for their work promoting drug-free living through the Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic 5K/10K, the Artists Against Drugs Art Show, and the Students Run LA 5K and 10K, their work with the LA Marathon, and their massive distribution of The Truth About Drugs booklets.
Victorville Federal Prison Warden Ms. Tereser Banks received the “Prison Education Reform Program Award” for her groundbreaking work to rehabilitate inmates through vocational training and drug education, using The Truth About Drugs curriculum.
Mr. Fred Thomas was recognized with a special award for his work educating youth on the harmful effects of marijuana and other illegal substances.
Mr. Bob Adams, Vice President of the Church of Scientology International said, “We are fighting a war against the drugs that are killing our youth. It takes a powerful collaboration of community, clergy and law enforcement to accomplish the goal of a drug-free world.”
Red Ribbon Week began in October of 1986 when CADFY sponsored its first statewide celebration. It was initiated by Mr. Henry Lozano after the death of his high school friend, Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena, a DEA Agent who was killed in Mexico while investigating a major drug cartel.
In March 1985, Mr. Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter launched “Camarena Clubs” throughout the Imperial Valley, California. Members pledged to lead drug-free lives and wore red satin ribbons in Mr. Camerena’s memory. In 1988, President and First Lady Reagan endorsed the campaign as “Red Ribbon Week,” a national week of drug prevention activities to honor Camarena’s legacy. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.
CADFY is a non-profit organization working in collaboration with individuals, agencies and organizations to bring parents, youth, schools and communities together to build and promote safe and healthy environments.
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free.
For more than 20 years the Church of Scientology has garnered the support of its members in community-wide programs, which today form the largest non-governmental anti-drug campaign in the world. In partnership with the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, the Church of Scientology sponsored and produced a 16-part series of award-winning public service announcements and a feature-length documentary that form the core of the Foundation's drug prevention program.
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