SIMI VALLEY : Rally Will Honor Police, Firefighters

An annual anti-drug rally Wednesday evening will honor Simi Valley firefighters and police officers, including slain Officer Michael Clark.

Organizers hope to pack Simi Valley High School's Bob Jacob Memorial Stadium for the sixth annual Red Ribbon Rally for a drug-free future.

The rally is part of a weeklong list of events at Simi Valley schools in honor of Red Ribbon Week, which is meant to promote healthy, drug-free living, said Melissa Thiesen, the substance-abuse educator for the local PTA and a Red Ribbon organizer.

The Red Ribbon campaign began in 1985, spurred by the slaying of federal agent Enrique Camarena by drug traffickers in Mexico, Thiesen said.

The national theme of this year's Red Ribbon Week is "Be Healthy and Drug Free." Simi Valley's theme is "We Care About You" to demonstrate appreciation for police officers and firefighters, she said.

The wife of Officer Clark, who was killed in a shootout Aug. 4, will make an appearance to accept gifts from area schools.

Everyone is welcome to attend the rally, which is scheduled to begin about 6:30 p.m. and last until about 8:30.

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