Red Ribbon Rally pledges a drug free community

Students gather at the town green to sign the red ribbon during the annual Red Ribbon Rally on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Students gather at the town green to sign the red ribbon during the annual Red Ribbon Rally on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

By TAYLOR HARTZ
STAFF WRITER

The 25th Annual Red Ribbon Rally was held on the town green last week, giving dozens of Southington students an opportunity to pledge their commitment to clean and sober living.

More than 300 residents crowded downtown to show their support for the pledge, which was made by 19 student groups on Wednesday evening.

Hosted by Trish Kennifeck, the 25th annual event featured speeches by Southington High School (SHS) principal Brian Stranieri, Board of Education (BOE) Chairman Brian Goralski, and Superintendent of Southington Public Schools Timothy Connellan.

“The commitment to a healthy lifestyle is one that goes beyond the day to day,” said Connellan, “It’s something you are committed to and you grow with.”

DSC_1778The superintendent encouraged students to acknowledge the large gathering of community members, and to lean on their support whenever necessary.

Joining to light candles in support of each students’ pledge were members of the Town Council and BOE, along with State Representative David Zoni (D-Conn.)

“This whole community is standing with all theses kids from different schools,” said Town Councilor Victoria Triano of the middle school and high school students who joined in the ceremony.

To honor national Red Ribbon month, the 19 groups were called forward to make their commitments to a drug free community.

”We’re doing something very important here tonight,” said Triano, “we’re taking a personal stand.”

Several athletic groups, including the SHS football team, baseball team, and cheerleading team joined middle school athletes from the DePaolo Middle School volleyball and soccer teams and the Kennedy Middle School cheerleaders.

Representing other student organizations were the Southington Key Club, the Valentin Karate Club, the SHS LGBT organization, and several other groups.

Before making their pledges, Goralski encouraged students to stick by the vow they would make that evening.

Triano reminded students that their pledge meant a promise to not use drugs or alcohol. “Great things are going to happen if we keep ourselves clean,” she said.

John Goralski contributed to the article.

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