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HOUSTON STUDENT WINS D.A.R.E. NATIONAL POSTER CONTEST IN WASHINGTON

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitali Banerjee, a 6th-grader at John F. Ward Elementary School, has been selected as the winner of the 1993 National D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Poster Contest sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken. D.A.R.E. is a nationally recognized program that brings specially trained law enforcement officers into the classroom to give young people the facts about drugs and alcohol and provide life-saving information on why and how to resist peer pressure.
 Banerjee, her father, Probir Bondyopadhyay, her D.A.R.E. officer, Patrolman Steve Wilder, and her teacher, Natalie Murphy, all attended a ceremony at the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) headquarters today where Banerjee was announced as the national winner of the contest. United States Attorney General Janet Reno and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who plays "Zack Morris" on NBC-TV's prime time series "Saved By the Bell, The College Years" participated in the announcement. Gosselaar is the 1993 KFC/D.A.R.E. spokesperson.
 Banerjee was one of nine finalists from across the nation selected in the national poster contest, themed "What D.A.R.E. Means to Me." All nine finalists were flown to Washington to participate in two days of festivities -- including today's announcement of the poster contest winner -- surrounding National D.A.R.E. Day, Sept. 9.
 During the 1993 spring semester, thousands of fifth and sixth grade D.A.R.E. students across the country entered the KFC-sponsored contest by creating a poster themed "What D.A.R.E. Means to Me." Entries were judged on creativity and message. Banerjee's winning poster will be reprinted and distributed to every D.A.R.E. classroom and KFC restaurant in the country.
 KFC became involved with D.A.R.E. in 1987 and remains the program's largest national sponsor. KFC plays an active role in raising money for the program's expansion and increasing public awareness of the importance of a national drug education program. The number of communities with D.A.R.E. programs has grown from 485 in 1987 to 5,000 in 1993 with KFC's support.
 -0- 9/8/93
 /CONTACT: Ann Pitcher, 312-280-7067, or Laura Lee Deters, 312-280-7065, both of Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., for KFC/


CO: KFC; D.A.R.E. ST: District of Columbia IN: LEI SU:

KL -- CL003 -- 9920 09/08/93 15:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993
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