Red Ribbon Week at Waterville

Some of the winners of the Oct. 25 Red Ribbon Hunt with Mondo Davila, coordinator of the Waterville Drug-Free Community Coalition.(Provided photo/Jill Moomaw)


By James Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

Each Waterville elementary student made a handprint to add to an art project “tree” during Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23-27. The theme was, “We are each unique and beautiful but together we are a masterpiece.” (Provided photo/Jill Moomaw)

Red Ribbon Week was observed Oct. 23-27 at Waterville school.

The annual National Red Ribbon Campaign is sponsored by the National Family Partnership, formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, a nonprofit organization founded in 1980. Since it’s beginnings, NFP has devoted its efforts to the well being of youth and is a national leader in drug prevention education and advocacy.

The Red Ribbon began in 1985 and has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, concerned parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing red ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America, according to the NFP website.

This year’s National Red Ribbon Week theme was “Your Future Is Key, So Stay Drug Free.”

On a local level, Waterville students commemorated Red Ribbon Week with various activities.

Elementary students participated in a Red Ribbon hunt on the school playground on Oct. 25. Those who found a red ribbon received a prize. The children also received Halloween bags with trick-or-treating safety tips along with handouts about the harm of bullying, ideas about character building and 25 ways to say no to drugs. Mondo Davila, coordinator of the Waterville Drug-Free Community Coalition, assisted.

The team of Cody Deshazer, Claire Ashley, August Koulouris, Meredith Mittelstaedt, Elizabeth Katovich, Mackenna Gurnard and Alex Poppie took second place in the B.A.D.D. Club volleyball tournament held Oct. 23-24 during Red Ribbon Week at Waterville school. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

During the week, there was an art project among all the elementary students where each child made a handprint to add to a “tree.” The theme was, “We are each unique and beautiful but together we are a masterpiece.”

Waterville High School’s B.A.D.D Club (Breaking Addictive and Destructive Decisions) also sponsored a volleyball tournament, organized by Davila and Jill Moomaw, who are the club’s advisers.

The B.A.D.D. club’s theme this year, relative to its projects and events, is about “inclusion,” according to Moomaw.

“A socially inclusive community is defined as one where all people feel valued, and their differences are respected,” Moomaw said. “Inclusion and peer support creates a sense of belonging for both the individual receiving support and the individuals providing the support. Our goal is to provide events where students, staff and community can work together to value our differences and support each other.”

Eight teams participated in the double-elimination tournament, held Oct. 23-24. Each team had six to seven players made up of students and faculty.  The winning team was Alpha GT&R with Ali Mires, Kris Daratha, Justine Clements, Brooke Willms, Raf Capi and Alex Capi. The second place team was Setsy and We Know It, with Mackenna Gurnard, Claire Ashley, Meredith Mittelstaedt, Alex Poppie, Elizabeth Katovich, August Koulouris and Cody Deshazer.

This was the third year for the volleyball tournament. Students who helped organize the event were Braxton Jessup, Adolfo Vela and Mauricio Negrete.

For more information about the National Red Ribbon Campaign, visit