Red Ribbon Week Kicks off in Union County to Help Prevent Substance Abuse 5K Run and Family Fun Walk Highlight Day of Family Activities

Union County, NJ – A day of healthy outdoor family activities marks the start of Red Ribbon Week 2011 on Saturday, October 22, at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. 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, reptile show, games, and a helicopter landing. The activities take place from 11 AM – 4 PM.

The Red Ribbon 5K will kick-off a day full of family activities. 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

Also this year is the Red Ribbon Family Fun Walk, designed to encourage parents and families to join with children, from infants to young adults, in healthy outdoor activities. The walk begins at noon, on a flat two-mile course around Oak Ridge Park. Registration begins at 11:00 AM. The Family Fun Walk is a way for families to show their support for Prevention Links and substance abuse prevention and education. Walkers are encouraged to start a fundraising page at

Walkers can visit the Prevention Links donations page,, to set up a fundraising team. Fundraising awards will be presented to the winners of various fundraising groups.

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, contact Prevention Links at or (732) 381-4100.