Red Ribbon Week


Julia Hansen

Red Ribbon Week banner hangs in the commons

Julia Hansen

Red Ribbon Week is a national substance awareness promotion that has been present for around 30 years. This year’s kick off in Owatonna took place in Central Park on Oct. 23. SHOC students came together to decorate the park with red ribbon. During the kickoff, the mayor signs a proclamation to fight against substance abuse as a problem that needed awareness. Then, awards were given to fourth graders who had created posters made for Red Ribbon Week. The poster contest is put in place to help elementary students become aware of substances at a young age. When the ceremony is over, all posters are posted around the businesses who support Red Ribbon Week.

At OHS, SHOC students displayed a banner signed by students who pledged to be drug free. Students who made the pledge received a bracelet that showed a physical reminder of the pledge made, and these bracelets allowed students to receive discounts at local businesses. Continuing through the year, anyone can still join SHOC and participate in their various events.

Red Ribbon Week in Owatonna is made possible at OHS due to SHOC and their advisor Mrs. Williams. SHOC members voted on captains to be the most involved in the week. The captains included seniors Taylor Savoie, Hannah Fisher, Jessie Hager and Erin Peterson. Savioe said, “SHOC is a unique way to get involved with the community. There are so many opportunities for volunteering that everyone can find an enjoyable way to help others.” They were valuable students who spread the importance of being substance free, and they help come up with opportunities to help OHS and the community. The theme for Red Ribbon Week is different every year, and this year’s theme was, “Your future is key, so stay drug free.”

The week ended with a bonfire/tailgate party on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Owatonna Football game. The Red Ribbon Week partners with the Kiwanis club, and the Kiwanis club provided free food like s’mores, hot chocolate and yard games for the tailgate. Kiwanis also gave SHOC members free t-shirts for their involvement in Red Ribbon Week. The students finished the end the week by hanging posters around the Owatonna schools. The end of Red Ribbon Week was announced by the KOWZ radio station -100.9 FM- and by Mr. Randall to OHS. Even though the week is over, one can still remember that it is still key to stay drug free.