Never Let Go Ministries kept busy this past week with the events of Red Ribbon Week. RRW is held throughout the nation from October 23 through October 31.
It is the nation’s largest and longest-running drug awareness and prevention program. RRW is a campaign that brings awareness to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention.
It was established in memory of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement agent, who was kidnapped, tortured, and killed in Mexico in 1985. He had worked for more than four years on a case, and was extremely close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline, involving marijuana and cocaine traffickers. He was 37 years old at the time of his death, and he left behind his wife and three children.
On Wednesday, October 25, Victor and Mary Juarez traveled to Pettisville School and presented their personal story to a student body of 225 students.
They shared the story of Mary’s son, Marjoe, who struggled with substance abuse for years, before losing his life in 2010 from an overdose of prescription drugs.
Their presentation consisted of not only their personal story, but also the importance of making good choices in life. The 7th-12th graders were very respectful, and Victor and Mary were warmly welcomed by the entire staff and the student body.
Kelly Tietje, board member of Never Let Go Ministries, along with her daughter Baylee, a student at Pettisville, helped Victor and Mary throw out some NLG t-shirts and Frisbees to the students.
After the presentation, they stayed through the next period and into lunch to be available to talk to the students. Victor and Mary were excited to see a wall mounted display case with the trophy and other souvenirs of a “Girl Named Tom.” Caleb, Joshua, and Bekah Liechty all attended Pettisville School.
Duane Beck, the vocal music teacher there, was their instructor when they attended school. Pettisville was beyond excited when these past Pettisville students went on in their singing career to win “The Voice” in 2021.
On Friday, St. Mary’s Catholic School 4th, 5th, & 6th graders of Edgerton, walked to the NLG office and heard Marjoe’s story.
Mary says it is always great to see the students of St. Mary’s, as it was exactly thirteen years ago on October 26, when Mary shared Marjoe’s story at the school for the very first time. Mary has been invited back every year since then to talk to the students at St. Mary’s during RRW.
Victor was able to be there this year also and share the effects he saw in the family during those years.
Victor and Mary have shared their story nearly 500 times in different schools, organizations, rehabilitation centers, the Juvenile Detention Center, and many other places.