GLADSTONE, Mo. (11/20/07)--A retired credit union executive found a ‘drug-free’ balloon message that was launched by a student as part of Red Ribbon Week, a drug prevention school project supported by CommunityAmerica CU of Lenexa, Kan. Tyrique Bennett, of Meadowbrook Elementary School in Gladstone, Mo., sent the balloon that says “Drug Free * that’s me,*” asking “When my balloon finds you, please let me know.” The balloon was found by Bob Korthase, a retired vice president of investments at 66 FCU, in Bartlesville, Okla., and a former chairman of the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB), while driving in rural Oklahoma. He found it near some land that has been in his family for years. While Korthase was chairman of NYIB, he got credit unions involved with another youth project--the National Endowment for Financial Education. Korthase sent a one-page letter to Tyrique and her teacher, thanking them for participating in the project. Korthase commended Tyrique for being drug-free and taking part in the project. Korthase wrote in the letter: “Your balloon and your message have been in for a wild ride of about 230 miles from your school to the pasture on our 80 acres. But not nearly as wild of a ride as those people that get involved with drugs. Red Ribbon Week is a time for communities and individuals to come together for the hopes and dreams of children through a commitment to drug prevention and education and a personal commitment to live drug-free lives. That’s just what you did, and I am proud of you!” Korthase concluded his letter by telling Tyrique that he was sending copies of his letter to her school and others to make them aware of the good work she has done and to pass on the drug-free message, so that it gets the attention it deserves.