Poster contest winners visit statehouse

STUDENTS NILAH FITZGERALD, Reese Lisko, Sawyer Garthaffner, Calvin Almeida, and Emma Dwire from from Addison Central school were among those invited to the State House as winners of the National Red Ribbon Drug Free Contest.

MONTPELIER — Students from Addison, Lowell, Salisbury and Wells were treated as honored guests at the Vermont Statehouse on Wednesday, Jan. 22. The students were winners of the Red Ribbon Drug Free Poster Contest, great enthusiasts with their school spirit week, and contestants in the National Red Ribbon Photo Contest.
The students were given a tour of the Statehouse led by Guy Page, editor of The Chronicle.  Former Gov. Jim Douglas was available for a photo opportunity as was Jay Hooper, the Youth Caucus leader. Having started his four years as a representative at 22, he is one of the youngest House Representatives. 
Red Ribbon Drug Free week has been held nationally for the past 39 years on the last week of October as a way of honoring of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, who died in the line of duty when abducted by a drug cartel. In his memory, the Red Ribbon Drug Free program was launched. Every student is encouraged to sign Drug Free Pledges committing to become informed of drug concerns and staying clear of drugs.
With Vermont’s Drug concerns being among the highest in the nation, Protecting Youth with Prevention Awareness undertook promoting this effort as a way to help curb youth use. The brains of our youth are our nation’s most precious natural resource.
Students from Wells and Salisbury that were poster contest winners were Callie Ann Chalmers, who took first place in the K-4 age group, and Hadley Thomspon and Lilly Noonan, who were first and second respectively in the 5th-8th age group. Raine Kuebler and Jade Thomas received honorable mentions. Staff members who encouraged their participation were Eileen Gombasi, and Natalie Houde.
Four students from Lowell and five students from the Student Council of Addison Central were on hand for the celebration, though their whole schools were engaged in their efforts. Students in attendance from Lowell were Cameron King, Megan Kneeland, Kayla Kennison and Eli Willey.  Those from Addison Central were Staff who encouraged their participation were Inga Hoag, Suzanne Hodsden and Kathleen Kilbourne.     

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