Seminole Tribune - Pulse of the Tribe

Volume XXX, Number 11
November 27, 2009

Brighton Celebrates Red Ribbon Week By Just Saying No

BY RACHEL BUXTON - Staff Reporter

BRIGHTON — Brighton community members, Tribal departments, faculty members and students of Pemayetv Emahakv met at the Field Offi ce the morning of Oct. 19 to kick off Brighton’s Red Ribbon Week celebration with a drug free march through the reservation.

Students decorated stop signs and mailboxes with red ribbons and chanted this year’s slogan “Drug Free is the Key” to help get the message across. “We use the red ribbon as a symbol to saying no to drugs,” Valerie Marone, Family Services Dept. events coordinator said.

The week continued with many drug free events including a youth poster decorating contest, door decorating contest and T-shirt decorating contest. All posters, doors and T-shirts focused on the “Drug Free is the Key” theme.

The community enjoyed a BMX bike show presented by the group Wheels of Freestyle based out of California. Along with demonstrating bike tricks the three-man group delivered the message to stay drug free.

Marone said the BMX presentation was just something different to incorporate in the week. She added that the group has become so popular, especially during Red Ribbon Week, that they had to be booked a year in advance.

On Oct. 20 employees and community members were out and about wearing red for the “Wear Red Day,” showing their support for the cause.

Red Ribbon Week extended out not just to the adults and youth, but also to the little ones at the preschool. On Oct. 21 the preschoolers got a very special visit from the members of the Family Services Dept. who brought a clown to entertain the students.

Children got to ride around the parking lot in a train along with getting their faces painted. Girls turned into princesses as boys got tattoos of spiders. The students also feasted on freshly made cotton candy.

The Seminole Police Dept. was on hand, along with McGruff the Crime Dog, to help spread the very important message of just saying no to drugs.

“All the statistics show and we just know from watching the news the children are starting at a younger and younger age,” Marone said. “They are being approached at a younger and younger age so it’s really important to build them up.”

The Family Services Dept. started to wrap the weeklong celebration up with a movie presentation of “Smashed: Toxic Tales of Teens and Alcohol” at the Veterans’ Building on Oct. 22.

“It’s very important to know there are consequences to drinking and driving,” Marone said to the youth. “You are not invincible. I really want you to take to heart what you see in the fi lm.”

heart what you see in the fi lm.” The movie graphically portrayed the dangers and consequences of drugs and alcohol. The fi lm shows young adults in the emergency room in critical condition due to the effects of using drugs and alcohol while driving.

On Oct. 27 the Brighton community got a chance to hear a fi rsthand account of how alcohol affected Renee Napier’s life.

“I’m trying to make something positive out of something negative,” Napier said. Napier lost her daughter to a drunk driver in 2002 and has made it her mission in life to help educate not only the youth but also the adults about the consequences of drinking and driving by telling her powerful story and putting on display the car her daughter was killed in.

“Our kids can educate us,” Napier said. “As adults we need to realize that we are role models for children. Brighton’s Red Ribbon Week came to an end with a candlelight vigil after Napier’s presentation in remembrance of all those who the community has lost to the ongoing drug and alcohol battle.

“We’ve been working really hard this week, but it’s not just this week,” Marone said. “It’s a whole year through thing we try to do to prevent drugs and alcohol in the community. It’s a real positive thing that the Brighton community comes together to really reinforce ‘Just Say No to Drugs,’ not just for the youth, but the whole community.”