Chesterton Tribune



Red Ribbon Committee celebrates fight against drug abuse

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Kiki Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, was tortured and killed in 1985. His fight against illegal drugs and the devastation they do to communities has been championed since then via the Red Ribbon Campaign. In honor of his memory community members wear red ribbons of satin and make a difference, one person at a time. Agent Camarena told his mother, “I’m only one person, but I want to make a difference.”

On Tuesday, May 14, over 70 adults came together and celebrated as eight Porter County students were recognized for the difference they are making in the fight against substance abuse.

Each of the eight students won an award and honor for their submission to the Red Ribbon contests held this spring in Porter County schools. Two students each received a $500 scholarship for their essay on the importance of being drug free. Tyler Birmingham, a senior from Kouts High School and Elizabeth Wood, a senior from Washington Township High School each read their winning entry and received a standing ovation from the audience. Their many activities and steadfast dedication to the cause were exemplary and deserving of the scholarship. Great Lakes Labs of Valparaiso donated one of the scholarship awards.

There were two poster design winners: Emily Jerome, a student at Chesterton Middle School and Dylan Fishburn, a senior at Hebron High School.

The placemat design winners were Sheri Orlando and Julie Tarpley from Washington Township Schools, Claire Bailey from Liberty Intermediate School and Michael Magnetti from Northview Elementary. Awards for the students were donated by Porter County Treasurer Michael Bucko, Porter County Judge Julia Jent, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, Porter County Clerk Karen Martin, Porter County Recorder Jon Miller, and Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas.

Dedicated to working for a drug-free Porter County, the Substance Abuse Council is your county’s oldest coalition working in the battle against drugs.

For more information please contact Beatrice Owen at 219-462-0946 or


Posted 5/21/2013