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Red Ribbon community event planned

A gathering scheduled Saturday in Mount Airy is aimed at making a dent in the substance abuse problem.

The Red Ribbon community event will be held in Riverside Park, at its upper picnic shelter, from 2 to 6 p.m.

It is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Mount Airy and the Surry County Office of Substance Abuse Recovery, with a goal of uniting local residents to take a visible stand against drugs.

The community event is being held in conjunction with the annual observance of Red Ribbon Week, which was officially declared in the city by a special proclamation during a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners last Thursday night. It is running from Oct. 23-31.

Saturday’s gathering is to include food, music, games, face painting and more, according to organizers.

It also will be an opportunity to share resources that are available for those needing help with substance abuse and spread the word to families and friends about the importance of being healthy and drug-free — celebrating life in that way.

A big emphasis on tackling the problem involves reaching kids at an early age, according to Lenise Lynch, a Rotary Club member spearheading the effort on behalf of that group.

Through activities such as Saturday’s Red Ribbon community event, the movement seeks to teach youths about the value of leading drug-free lives and making positive choices, Lynch said during a presentation on the campaign at last week’s commissioners meeting.

“We appreciate what you do for our community,” Mayor Ron Niland told Lynch — who is active in various projects — after reading the Red Ribbon Week proclamation.

Take-back included

Saturday’s event additionally will feature a drug take-back opportunity.

Those attending are invited to bring any unused or expired medications to be safely disposed of, and along with promoting community well-being those doing so will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

The Rotary Club of Mount Airy has made the drug problem a top priority in recent years.

For example, it provided red ribbons, red wristbands, red pens and red pencils in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week in 2021 as part of a $10,000 allocation Rotarians designated to tackle the local opioid crisis.

That represented a two-pronged initiative addressing both recovery and prevention, with the distribution of red ribbons and other materials targeting the latter.



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