Red Ribbon Week raises awareness of drug risks

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation hosted Red Ribbon Week from Oct. 26 to Oct. 30 as part of a national campaign to promote drug and alcohol awareness in youths and their parents. The campaign encourages students of every age to choose a healthy and positive life and provides parents with the tools to help.
The highlight of the week was the speech by special guest Geneva Camarena. Her husband, Drug Enforcement Agent Kiki Camarena, was kidnapped, brutally tortured and murdered by a drug cartel on Feb. 7, 1985. “My husband dedicated his life to fighting the drug lords,” she said in an emotional presentation. “He wanted to go after the guys at the top, the guys responsible for the drugs that ruined the lives of so many.” Camarena told the story of her life with her husband, whom she met in school. “We were high school sweethearts,” she said to R. Roger Rowe School students, many of whom were dressed in red to show their support. “We grew up together.”
On Oct. 29, students signed a pledge to make healthy choices and received red ribbons to put on their backpacks and a wrist band that made it clear: “Say NO to drugs.”
“I think Geneva’s story helped put the problem in a personal perspective,” Red Ribbon Week organizer Kerrie Lunsford said. “It hit close to home, especially in light of the two accidents that have taken the lives on teenagers in Rancho Santa Fe recently.”