VALPARAISO | “Don’t Joke Around with Drugs” and “Drugs Will Get You a New Ride” (in a police car) were among the messages at the annual Porter County Red Ribbon Campaign Awards breakfast Tuesday at Old Town Banquet Center.
Student honorees were recognized for their creativity and work on posters and place mats to encourage a drug-free lifestyle.
“Red Ribbon is an awareness campaign. As children grow up they become inundated with messages about drug and alcohol use and the acceptability of the use. This awareness campaign asks the children to start thinking about alternatives to drugs and alcohol,” said Beatrice Owen, director of the Porter County Substance Abuse Council.
“These winners are actively choosing to not do drugs and alcohol and we want to recognize and celebrate their choices. We want them and their classmates to know that we, as a community, support the choice to abstain from drugs and alcohol.”
Poster creators honored were 10th-grader Destiny Billings of Boone Grove High School and eighth-grader Samantha Fazekas of Chesterton Middle School. Four students were in the spotlight for their place mat designs: fifth-grader Julia Larson of Liberty Intermediate, second-grader Cashmir Morris of Morgan Township Elementary, fifth-grader Alyssa Suprenant of Washington Township Elementary and fifth-grader Theo Coulopoulos of Cooks Corners Elementary.
Portage High School senior Ashley Barnas has been awarded this year’s $500 scholarship.