According to those involved, the key event in this year’s Red Ribbon Campaign in Tucumcari is going to be something special. Regina Rael of the Red Ribbon Campaign committee in Tucumcari said plans are for the community to encircle the three schools of the city in one large circle of area people holding hands.
“We measured it and it is 2.3 miles around the three schools and we’re going to need everyone in town to get involved if we are going to pull it off.” The activity is a combined effort of the New Mexico State Police and Tucumcari Public Schools. Rael said the encircling of the three schools, Tucumcari Elementary, Middle and High schools, is a symbolic show of how the community is willing to stand together to protect the schools.
“We have got to show that we want to take back the schools and protect the schools from all sorts of negative outside influences like drugs, alcohol and tobacco,” said Rael about the event. Rael said that the students in all three schools will be also be taking part in the project and will be in the circle of hand holding. She said that she has talked to numerous businesses and civic groups about taking part but she needs “just plain folks” out also taking part so it will be clearly a “community event.”
Rael said area law enforcement has committed to the event as has the state. At the height of the activity the people holding hands will release hundreds of helium filled balloons each with anti-drug messages inside.
“This will be a historic event,” said Rael. “I hope the entire community comes out to help.” While the encircling of the school will be the most noticeable activity of Red Ribbon Week, organizers say it will not be the only one. At 5 a.m. Oct. 24 volunteers will begin putting red ribbons throughout Tucumcari to remind the population of that it is Red Ribbon Week. That will be followed at 8 a.m. with the annual Red Ribbon Breakfast at the VFW Post at 108 Main Street.
Throughout the week there will a number of activities and contests for children including poster contests.
The culmination of the week will be the Haunted House and the Red Ribbon Carnival at the Quay County Fair Barn at the Quay County Fair Grounds on Saturday Oct. 30 . To volunteer for any aspect of the Red Ribbon Campaign or get more information call 461-3300 and ask for Regina or 461-6096 and ask for Noreen.