The Somerset County commissioners on Tuesday gave their support to the annual Red Ribbon anti-drug effort. President Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes called it one of the strongest such campaigns in the state.

The 2010 Red Ribbon Rally will be held at 9 a.m. Friday in Courtroom No. 1 of the Somerset County Courthouse.

Red ribbons will be passed out and students from the county’s 11 school districts will receive awards for best banner, poster and essay.

“Education is the top priority,” said Ronna R. Yablonski, prevention coordinator of the Twin Lakes Center, who is heading the effort.

Yablonski said ribbons signify that the wearers are drug free and proud of it. Wearing the ribbons also will qualify the wearers for certain retail promotions in the area.

The emcee of the rally will be Brad Cober, Somerset County courts administrator.

The keynote address will be presented by singer/songwriter Cindy Ross.

And the first Mary Ann Bowman Spirit of Red Ribbon Week Award will be given to her daughters, Rebecca Bowman-Rivas and Sarah Bowman.

Red Ribbon Week was officially sanctioned by the commissioners for Oct. 17-23.

Among other events, the week commemorates the sacrifice of Drug Enforcement Agency agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.

He was kidnapped, tortured and killed by drug traffickers in Mexico.

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