Mayor Donchess Recognizes Red Ribbon Week

Major Jim Donchess recognizes Red Ribbon Week with, from left, his Chief of Staff Kim Kleiner, Nashua School Resource Officer Ross Desmet, Youth Council Executive Director Betsy Houde, Dr. Joseph Leahy of Southern New Hampshire Health, Janet Valuk, project director of the Nashua Prevention Coalition (NPC), NPC Coordinator Kameo Chasse and NPC member Christie Tourlitis.

NASHUA – As part of his efforts to battle drug addiction in the city of Nashua, Mayor Jim Donchess is recognizing this week, Oct. 23-31, as Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week is the largest prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States, bringing millions together to advocate for drug and violence prevention, early intervention and treatment services. This year’s theme is, “Your Future is Key So Stay Drug Free.”

Youth-serving resources, faith-based organizations, schools and other organizations across the city also are recognizing the campaign.

“The Red Ribbon Week campaign is an opportunity to bring together people throughout Nashua and unify them in the cause of ending drug addiction and violence in our city and worldwide,” Donchess said.

Red Ribbon Week began in the wake of the brutal murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Camarena, who had been working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico, helped to eradicate a multi-million dollar narcotics manufacturing operation, angering several drug cartels who in response murdered Camarena in addition to several key informants.

The community in Camarena’s hometown, Calexico, Calif., organized an event where they wore red ribbons in remembrance of him and spoke out against illegal drugs. By 1988, Red Ribbon Week was nationally recognized and former first lady Nancy Reagan served as the honorary chair.