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The United States has the highest rate of overdose-related deaths in the world - with approximately 380 deaths per day. Unfortunately, Ohio and the Columbus metropolitan area have been hit particularly hard by the drug/opioid epidemic totaling 5111 deaths in 2017 (2018 data not yet available); which ranks Ohio as second just behind West Virginia.
These startling numbers are why The Central Ohio Young Marines have decided to hold its first (hopefully Annual) Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) 5k. As a program for the youth of our nation ages 8-18 our primary focus is on Anti-Drug education followed by character & leadership development, community service & volunteerism and veteran’s service. Teaching the boys and girls in our program about how gateway drugs and alcohol can lead to further issues with addiction. How to “say no” and prepare them for social situations which they may run into issues. We also spread this word through our work throughout the community, during family festivals and events that we participate in during the year. The proceeds from this race will be used to continue and enhance community efforts/outreach as well as continue education programs for the Youth in our unit and community.
The run kicks off the annual Nationally recognized Red Ribbon week where more than 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events each year. The campaign is a unified way for Young Marines and communities to take a stand against drugs and show intolerance for illicit drug use and the consequences that these illegal substances cause to all Americans.
Schools, businesses, the faith community, media, families, and community coalitions join together to celebrate the value of a drug-free, healthy lifestyle.
Our DDR teachings educate on the life and work of Kiki Camarena who was a Marine turned DEA Agent see his story below:
Each participant will receive a registration for the DDR Dash, a race t-shirt, and finisher medal.
Race packets may be picked up early at Columbus Running Company's Dublin location (6465 Perimeter Drive) on Thursday, October 17 (10AM-8PM) and Friday, October 18 (10AM-8PM). You may also pick up your packets at the race beginning at 8:00 AM on Saturday, October 19.
There is ample parking at the Dublin Rec Center (5600 Post Rd 43017). Please park in the lots to the northwest first. Thank you!
8:00 AM: Race day registration begins
9:30 AM: DDR Dash Start
This event is for running, walking, and wheelchairs only. Participation by bicycle, scooter, hoverboard, etc. is prohibited. Participation with pets is also prohibited for the following reasons:
Thank you for your cooperation!
Enrique (Kiki) S. Camarena was born on July 26, 1947, in Mexicali, Mexico. He graduated from Calexico High School in Calexico, California in 1966, and in 1968 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving in the Marine Corps for two years, Kiki was a Calexico fireman, Calexico police officer, and an Imperial County Deputy Sheriff. Kiki joined the Drug Enforcement Administration in June of 1974. His first assignment as a Special Agent with DEA was in a familiar place - Calexico, California.
In 1977, after three years in Calexico, he was reassigned to the Fresno District Office in Northern California. Four years later, Kiki received transfer orders to Mexico, where he would work out of the Guadalajara Resident Office. For more than four years in Mexico, Kiki remained on the trail of the country's biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. In early 1985, he was extremely close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline. However, before he was able to expose the drug trafficking operations to the public, he was kidnapped on February 7, 1985. On that fateful day, while headed to a luncheon with his wife, Mika, Kiki was surrounded by five armed men who threw him into a car and sped away. That was the last time anyone but his kidnappers would see him alive.
It is believed that Special Agent Camarena's death actually occurred two days later, but his body was not discovered until March 5, 1985. He was 37 years old and was survived by his wife Mika and their three children—Enrique, Daniel, and Erik. During his 11 years with DEA, Kiki received two Sustained Superior Performance Awards, a Special Achievement Award and, posthumously, the Administrator’s Award of Honor, the highest award granted by DEA.
Red Ribbon Week eventually gained momentum throughout California and later across the United States. In 1985, club members presented the "Camarena Club Proclamation" to then First Lady Nancy Reagan, bringing it national attention. Later that summer, parent groups in California, Illinois, and Virginia began promoting the wearing of red ribbons nationwide during late October. The campaign was then formalized in 1988 by the National Family Partnership, with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons. Today, the eight-day celebration is an annual catalyst to show intolerance for drugs in our schools, workplaces, and communities. Each year, on October 23-31, more than 80 million young people and adults show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle by wearing or displaying the red ribbon.
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