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"National Red Ribbon Week," when the general public is urged to wear red ribbons to show their support for a drug-free lifestyle, begins today in Western New York and across the nation.

The event commemorates the death in 1985 of Enrique Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was abducted and killed by drug dealers, according to Linda Flowers, executive director of WNY United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

Bills' linebacker Mark Maddox is serving as honorary spokesman for the group.

"He is really putting his money where his mouth is, and he is making a difference with the children he meets," said Mike Billoni, the retired Buffalo Bisons executive who is now a community mobilization specialist for WNY United.

During Red Ribbon Week, through Oct. 31, "There are literally hundreds of red ribbons events scheduled throughout Western New York," Billoni said.

Red Ribbons are on sale at $1 each at many locations, including Jubilee Foods, Wendy's, Chef's Restaurant and Colvin Cleaners.

Events include:

Today: A Take-A-Stand public demonstration from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on South Park Avenue in Hamburg and various other locations in Buffalo, Amherst and Cheektowaga.

Erie County STOP DWI "Impact Panel" assembly at West Seneca East Senior High School during the day and a Buffalo Blizzard GOALS Program assembly at 1:15 p.m. at West Seneca West Middle School.

Thursday: students signing "Contract for Life" at Alden High School in the school cafeteria; Rich Products associates will be "Teachers For A Day" at Buffalo Public School 77, presenting the "Eddie's Problem" curriculum from WNY United.

Friday: A "Drug Free Band" will play at McKinley Elementary School in Lackawanna while promoting a drug-free lifestyle; "Say Boo to Drugs" Halloween Dance at Perry High School.

Saturday: Wellness Walk and Halloween Parade in Fredonia; "Halloween in the Park" drug-free activity at Como Park in Lancaster.

Monday: "Buster Bison's STARS Program Assembly at the Pine Hill Primary School in Cheektowaga; students from Mount Mercy Academy will hold a coloring contest at Buffalo Public School 72.

Tuesday: "Hats off to a drug free school" at Eden High School; "Take A Stand" Students Against Drunk Driving demonstration at Cheektowaga Central High School.

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