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October 24--  With music from the Vidalia High School Sound Tribe, the annual Red Ribbon Week parade stepped off first thing Thursday morning at Sally Meadows Elementary School in Vidalia.

For the past 19 years, the Vidalia Police Department has been conducting Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) classes at the school.  The DARE officer is Corporal Dwayne Carpenter.

{mosimage}"The parade means a lot.  They get to get out of the classroom and walk the road and show the people they pledge to be drug free," he says.

Attending the parade were fourteen students from Vidalia High School who act as DARE role models for the 5th graders at Sally Meadows.  One of the students, senior football player Nolan Moore.

"It's very important for us to come tell these kids about the benefits of living a drug free life and about all the opportunities they will lose if they throw their life away by doing drugs.  All the things they can miss out on like memories of friends, varsity athletics and good grades, it doesn't matter if you do drugs because you're throwing them all away," Moore says.

School Principal Ginger Morris believes the annual observance of Red Ribbon Week to fight drug abuse is important for her students.

"It's a time for them to realize there are a lot of adults, not just their parents, but community leaders who say we're here with you and if you are ever offered drugs, just say no, and that's what the DARE program is all about," Morris said.