Public Info

Red Ribbon Week Kicks off in Union County to Help Prevent Substance Abuse

Four-Mile Run and Family Fun Walk added to day of family activities


Union County, NJ – A day of healthy outdoor family activities marks the start of Red Ribbon Week 2010 on Saturday, October 23, at Nomahegan Park in Cranford. Supported by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Prevention Links and the Union County D.A.R.E. Officers Association, the Red Ribbon Campaign works to prevent substance abuse by bringing families together.

“Family activities offer a supportive environment in which to talk to your children about substance abuse, and it’s never too early to start,” said Freeholder Alexander Mirabella. “Even very young children can share their thoughts and feelings about issues that concern their well being.”

Red Ribbon Day is packed with free children’s activities including such favorites as a petting zoo, moonwalks, games, and a helicopter landing. The activities take place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

A new feature this year is the Red-Ribbon Four Miler. The race will take place on a USATF Certified scenic course with mile splits and water stops. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Early registration (by 10/15) is $18. Registration after 10/15, including race day, is $23. Register online at or

Another new event this year is the Red Ribbon Family Fun Walk, designed to encourage families to join with children in support of Prevention Links and substance abuse prevention and education.  Funds that are raised will go to Prevention Links, to help substance abuse prevention efforts in Union County.

The walk begins at noon on a flat two-mile course around Nomahegan Park. Registration begins at 11:00 AM. Individual walkers can start a fundraising page at To set up a fundraising team, visit Fundraising awards will be presented to the top Individual Fundraiser, Family Team, and Classroom Team. Walkers and runners will receive T-shirts for participating.

Prevention Links also invites schools and students to participate in the annual “What’s My Anti-Drug” poster contest. The contest is open to all Union County 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Three winners from each grade will be selected to receive a prize and present their winning submission at Red Ribbon Day.

The Red Ribbon Campaign commemorates the life of Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico while conducting an undercover investigation of a major drug cartel. Camarena worked his way through college, served in the Marines and became a police officer before joining the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. For more information on the Red Ribbon Campaign and all Red Ribbon activities, visit Prevention Links at, email or call (732) 381-4100.