Elks celebrate Red Ribbon Month

The Covington Elks and Elkadettes ask the community to join them in celebrating October as Red Ribbon Month, designed to bring attention to the importance of staying drug free.

The Covington Elks decided to emphasize drug awareness and education five years ago and applied for a $5,000 grant from Snapping Shoals REA to create a puppet show to take into elementary schools. East Newton Elementary School students were the first to see the puppet show.

There are now five puppets in the show with puppeteers who volunteer their time. Pat Kirkpatrick and Pat Pippin are Molly; Jack Wheeler is Sammy; June Moore is Cool Hand Luke; Mikie Wagy is Antquan; Theresa Parker is Sunny. The show explains what happens to the body when people smoke and it encourages students to be drug free.

The Elks recently received a second grant from Snapping Shoals in the amount of $1,000.

"We are very grateful to them for giving us this opportunity to touch the lives of so many young children with our drug awareness message," said Elkadette Miriam Wheeler. "The Covington Elks and Elkadettes have been involved with youth in Newton County for years. This is one main area where we focus our time and talents on."

Wheeler said that Newton County students in grades three through five are competing in a drug awareness poster contest sponsored by the Elks and Elkdadettes. Middle School students are participating in an Essay Contest.

"We do appreciate the counselors at the schools helping us with these projects," Wheeler said.