BUCKHANNON- Proclamations were made by the County Commissioners at their weekly meeting on Thursday to bring awareness to two important issues - drug abuse and domestic violence.
Red Ribbon Week, celebrated annually from Oct. 23-31, is the oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program in the nation.
Counselors and students from various schools in Upshur County were in attendance at Thursday’s meeting to talk with the commissioners about their upcoming campaign, and encourage citizens to participate with them.
Larry Lance, counselor at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, said “the goal of Red Ribbon Week is to bring awareness to drug addiction. West Virginia leads the nation in drug overdoses, I believe we’re either first or second, so it’s really important for us to get that community involvement.”
All of Upshur County schools will participate in the event and the theme for this year’s Red Ribbon Week is Life is a journey, travel drug-free. Students are encouraged to dress up each day to show their commitment to living a drug-free life.
Tanya Zickefoose, counselor at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School said, “Upshur County Schools participate annually in National Red Ribbon Week with the goal of fighting the drug epidemic in the U.S. It is our hope that West Virginia youth turn the tide from addiction”
The daily themes for Upshur County’s Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 22-26, are as follows: On Monday students will walk the red carpet by wearing red. For Tuesday everyone should dress as tourists because life is your journey, travel drug free. On Wednesday students will look like rock stars for rockin’ a drug free life. Thursday will be ‘backwards day’ to move forward in life drug free. And finally on Friday, they will make a slam dunk against drugs by wearing a shirt representing their favorite team.
The county commissioners also marked the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Upshur County.
Addie Helmick, a domestic violence advocate with the Women’s Aid in Crisis organization, was present at the meeting to read the proclamation and to speak more about how to work towards putting a stop to domestic violence.
According to Helmick, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity for citizens to learn more about prevention and to show support for the organizations and individuals who provide advocacy and assistance to victims.
“The Women’s Aid in Crisis organization has provided services to more than 200 individuals and has distributed over 2,000 pieces of material throughout Upshur County” said Helmick.
During the month of October a booth will be set up in the Upshur County Courthouse Annex to provide individuals with more information about domestic violence, and the local organizations and services that are available to help victims.