Celebrating Red Ribbon Winners

Celebrating Red Ribbon Winners

“It is tremendously rewarding to see young people putting their commitment to a drug-free lifestyle into action.” – Travis Fretwell, director of DBHDD’s Office of Behavioral Health Prevention

On March 17, 2016, the winners of Georgia’s Red Ribbon Award competition were announced at a celebration hosted by DBHDD’s Office of Behavioral Health Prevention. Above, students and a teacher from Factory Shoals Elementary who participated in the Red Ribbon campaign share a drug-free selfie.

Each of the four winners – Factory Shoals Elementary School; Carver Middle School; GUIDE, Inc.; and The Partnership for Families, Children and Youth – successfully engaged students, parents, and teachers in activities that support a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

The grand prize was awarded to The Partnership for Families, Children and Youth. The partnership has been organizing Red Ribbon events for many years but never before entered the contest before, according to Director of Youth Development Services Amy Hunnewell. This year, because the community was more involved than ever before, the organization wanted to share its story across Georgia. The Paint Walton Red campaign included a concept created by the Walton County Youth Advocacy Board: The Haunted House of Addictions. “Inside the haunted house, board members enacted scenes including a party gone badly wrong, a car accident, a drug bust, someone going through detox, and a series of people speaking vulnerably about what they lost to addiction,” says board member Meredith Calhoun, a junior at Loganville High School.

The Partnership for Families, Children, Youth

“The haunted house was amazing. [The Partnership for Families, Children and Youth] reached over 800 people with its drug-free message and provided a platform for parents and teens to talk about the issue of addiction.” – Tricia Mills, DBHDD Red Ribbon coordinator

This year’s contestants – 28 schools and community organizations – were among those that took part in Georgia’s 2015 Red Ribbon Week (October 23 – 31) by designing and producing prevention activities in support of the theme: Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.

An awareness campaign, Red Ribbon is part of a year-long array of activities that promote healthy, drug-free lifestyles among youth. The goal is to address both the social and environmental influences that contribute to substance abuse.

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities‘ Office of Behavioral Health Prevention is proud to manage Georgia’s Red Ribbon Campaign on behalf of Governor Nathan Deal.