Pubdate: Mon, 30 Sep 2002
Source: Omaha World-Herald (NE)
Copyright: 2002 Omaha World-Herald Company
Author: Shannon Henson


Diana Lovejoy provided an example at Red Ribbon Drug Prevention Walk and Rally.

The 14-year-old painted faces and put the strings of red balloons into tiny 
hands Sunday afternoon.

"There's some pressure," the Millard teen said. "But I know it's stupid, so 
I don't mess with it."

The "it" is drug use. Lovejoy shows younger kids "it" is wrong just by 
being at the event, said Susie Dugan, executive director of PRIDE Omaha.

"They're telling the little kids they care," she said. "We need to tell our 
kids as many ways as we can."

Attended by a couple of hundred people, the walk and rally started and 
ended at Heartland of America Park. It marks the start of Red Ribbon Month, 
a drug-prevention campaign that began nationally in 1985 after a federal 
agent was brutally murdered by drug traffickers.

Sunday's rally was sponsored by the Heartland Youth Initiative, a coalition 
of local organizations dedicated to preventing drug use.

The afternoon was spirit-filled. A drum corps led with beats. Cheerleaders 
chanted: "Drug free is the way to live our lives healthy!" Small children 
marched in a circle to a tune about the "Smoke monster."

Kids pledged to not use tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or other dangerous drugs.

Adults promised to be role models.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens