With the fluttering of the propeller, the humming of the engine, and a wave of dust sweeping across the campus, students at Quail Summit Elementary School Monday got a Red Ribbon Week celebration they won't soon forget.
And that was the point.
"The purpose of the assembly is to create a positive memory for the kids," said retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy Rick Wright.
Children in the younger grades, kindergarten through third, don't have a real understanding of the anti-drug message behind Red Ribbon Week but can relate to 'do you want to do drugs or do you want to have something positive like this,' Wright said.
Wright served as the STAR deputy at various schools in Diamond Bar for 17 years and now volunteers to put on Red Ribbon Week events each year.
Red Ribbon Week was started in 1985 to honor slain Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Enrique "KiKi" Camarena, according to the Sheriff's Department. He was killed Feb. 7, 1985 in Mexico while investigating drug traffickers.
The assembly, which marked the end of five days of Red Ribbon-related activities, also included a celebration of students of the month. Those students walked down the line and got high fives from teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, Diamond Bar Mayor Jack Tanaka, Mayor Pro Tem Ron Everett, and Walnut Valley Unified Superintendent Robert Taylor.
As the celebration got underway, students stared up in the sky as the Sheriff's helicopter circled over the campus twice. When the pilot landed, the door opened and out stepped Principal Alysia Hobbs Odipo to the cheers of students.
"It was amazing," Hobbs Odipo said of the flight. "It was spectacular."
Teachers and staff at Quail Summit often talk to students about impact and that is the message behind Red Ribbon Week, she said.
"I hope the take away for our children is making good decisions matter," she said. "It's important to realize how decisions impact our lives."