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Hollywood spreads drug-free message for Red Ribbon Week

By Beverly Bidney

HOLLYWOOD — It seemed almost everyone in Hollywood participated in Red Ribbon Week. Preschoolers entertained elders, while school-age children made a promise and learned why they should remain drug free.

In addition to carrying out this year’s Red Ribbon theme, The best me is a drug-free me, another long-held annual tradition was also continued. The Plant the Promise campaign, which coincides with Red Ribbon Week, encourages children to plant flowers and make a promise to live drug-free lives. For the Tribe, it goes further.

“The kids make a commitment to the elders that they will carry on traditions and keep the Tribe strong and healthy,” said Kelly Hancock, Family Services Department counselor. “The plant symbolizes that commitment.”

The kids gathered at the Boys & Girls Club to decorate pots and plant flowers in them. They also painted pumpkins to be used as centerpieces for the annual Red Ribbon youth basketball tournament and dinner, which was canceled because of the inclement weather brought on by Hurricane Sandy.

The Seminole Police Department presented a video titled, The Truth about Drugs, which showed testimonials from young people about their regrets about drug use. Sgt. Angie Margotta encouraged the kids to talk about what they know about drugs and cautioned them to stay away from them.

At the senior center, preschoolers brought table decorations of flower pots with their own photos in the center of each handmade flower. The older children also presented potted plants they made to the seniors and used the gifts to decorate the tables.

Gathered at one end of the room, the preschoolers did their best as they sang a song and said the Pledge of Allegiance in Mikasuki. Charmed by the youngsters, the elders applauded their efforts.

On the way out, the children delightedly met McGruff the Crime Dog.

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