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Riders pedaling with a purpose

Molly Shore

Staying safe, healthy and drug-free is the goal of the 11th annual

Burbank Red Ribbon Week.

The weeklong event, cele- brated with different activities at all


district schools, will kick off with the annual youth and family

bicycle ride at 8 a.m. Saturday at Johnny Carson Park.

“It seems to grow every year,” said Marissa Rosoff, coordinator of

school safety at Burbank Unified School District. “I’m thinking the


word is out in the community that this is a fun way to spend the


The event engages children in a healthy activity within the

community, reinforces a positive relationship with police, and keeps

them away from drug and alcohol use, Rosoff said. The 1.5-mile ride

with the Burbank Police Department bike detail will follow a route on

closed-off streets around the park.

Every child who participates in the bicycle ride will receive a


T-shirt, courtesy of the Noon Rotary Club, Rosoff said.

The day’s activities also include entertainment by local youth,

activities and booths of local youth services providers, face

painting, balloons, food, and appearances by the police department’s

K-9 unit. Safe Moves, a bicycle and pedestrian- safety program

sponsored by the Automobile Club, will be at the park to teach safety

tips to children, Rosoff said.

Throughout the week, schools will participate in Red Ribbon Week


with various classroom projects and events.

At McKinley Elementary School, students will put their handprints

on posters to express this year’s theme, “Hands Off Drugs,” volunteer

coordinator Kathy Petzoldt said. Inside the handprint, they will

write what they want to be when they grow up, she said.

“They will be encouraged to live their dreams and not let drugs

get in the way,” Petzoldt said.

National Red Ribbon Week was established 19 years ago to honor the

memory of Enrique Camarena, a U.S. drug enforce- ment agent who was

killed by drug traffickers in Mexico.