Reg_10_Larsen_Arco.Idaho_t750x550.jpgBy: Dorothy Rowley

A national drug-prevention organization has launched its annual photo challenge as part of “Red Ribbon Week,” which aims to bring awareness to its 28-year-old campaign against drug and alcohol use by youth.

The Miami-based National Family Partnership’s “A Health Me is Drug Free” photo contest, which runs throughout October, provides the chance for 10 students across the country to win an iPad for their family and $1,000 for their school.

“Students will once again take Red Ribbon Week’s message of prevention home to their neighborhoods with this national contest,” said Peggy Sapp, the organization’s president. “By decorating their homes together with this year’s Red Ribbon theme, families carry the message to their communities.”

The organization, which was established in 1980, created “Red Ribbon Week” in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency in 1985 after the abduction and murder of DEA agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena.

The “Red Ribbon” campaign, which runs this year from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31, is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program, with an overall projection of reaching more than 80 million people.

“The DEA is proud to partner with the National Family Partnership and other initiatives that spread the drug prevention message throughout our local communities,” said agency administrator Michele Leonhart. “Wearing red ribbons in October represents our pledge to be drug free and honors the sacrifice of DEA Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena and all who have lost their lives in the fight against drugs.”

This is how the contest works:

Students work with their parents to decorate the front door of their home, mailbox or fence with a red ribbon and the phrase “A Health Me is Drug Free.” A photo of the family’s creation must be uploaded to redribbon.org/contest by Nov. 4. Contestants must be 18 years or older to upload photos.

Family and friends can visit redribbon.org/contest to vote Nov. 5-19. Winners will be announced Dec. 6.