One of the first prevention efforts was the Red Ribbon Campaign celebration. On February 7, 1985, Enrique (KiKi) S. Camarena, who was a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, was kidnapped. KiKi was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. Special Agent Camarena’s body was found on March 5, 1985. Shortly after his death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and KiKi’s high school friend, Henry Lozano launched Camarena Clubs in Calexico, California. Hundreds of club members wore red ribbons and pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor KiKi.

Red Ribbon gained momentum throughout California and later across the United States. In 1988 by the National Family Partnership the campaign was formalized and each year in October, millions of young people and adults show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle by wearing or displaying the red ribbon.

ASAP’s first Red Ribbon campaign was “Ribbon of Life” and was held in October 23, 1988. The kick off ceremony was held at the Rushmore Mall where red ribbons were distributed and red balloons were launched. There were several community events and business promotions during this week. ASAP was instrumental in the continuation and growth of Red Ribbon activities in Rapid City until 2015 when the Rushmore Noon Optimist Group became the leader. Red Ribbon Campaign activities still continue today each year in October.

In the first 5 years, ASAP projects were supported by fund raising events and donations. ASAP was a volunteer coalition made up of many community partners and members. Many of ASAP’s efforts were primarily guided by the Rapid City Area Schools Safe and Drug Free Schools office, until 2010 when federal funding for Safe and Drug Free Schools was significantly reduced.

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