Three Botetourt County schools were Red Ribbon Week award winners.

The Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC) and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare sponsor the Red Ribbon Week each year and hold a celebration at the conclusion of the program to recognized schools with six awards.

This year, Troutville Elementary School earned the Shedding Light Award, Lord Botetourt High School earned the Eye Catching Award and Greenfield Elementary School earned the Kathy Graham Sullivan Spirit of Red Ribbon Week Award, which is named after the late Botetourt County School Board member. She worked for Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare as the coordinator for RAYSAC.

The Shedding Light Award goes to the school that exemplifies awareness of the true meaning of Red Ribbon Week. This school endeavors to promote drug free messages with everyone they come into contact with.

The Eye Catching Award goes to the school that goes above and beyond with visual aids for Red Ribbon Week. Both inside and outside the school, the message of RRW is clear and visible. The messages are also apparent to the surrounding community.

The Kathy Graham Sullivan Spirit of Red Ribbon Week Award goes to the school that captures the essence of Red Ribbon Week with the resources available. They demonstrate hard work, tremendous effort and enthusiasm. This school may have limited resources but has lots of heart in implementing their RRW celebration.

The Red Ribbon Week campaign was held October 21-27 and provided an opportunity for schools and communities to unite in order to raise awareness about the many dangers associated with underage alcohol usage and other drug abuse.  It is a great way for students, teachers, staff, parents and communities to help promote healthy youth development and healthy, fun ways to move through life, your journey.

During the week, participating schools have various programs and promotions each day to bring attention to the challenges of alcohol and drug use.

This year’s theme was “Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free.” Twenty-six Roanoke Valley schools competed for the Red Ribbon Week awards.

Other winners were All Aboard Award, Oak Grove Elementary School; Making a Difference Award, Glen Cove Elementary School; and Outside the Box Award, Hopetree Academy.

Also, area elementary students participated in a poster contest and middle and high school students participated in a media contest.

Troutville Elementary students won their grade level poster contests in kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade; and a Read Mountain Middle School poster won first place in the middle school category.

The weeklong activities were celebrated at the 23nd Annual Candlelight Ceremony on November 11 at The Hotel Roanoke, Shenandoah Room. The ceremony was held to remember those whose lives have been affected by alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and to recognize this year’s Red Ribbon Week Celebration winners.