Author Archives: SafeLaunch

Youth Combine Art and Aviation with SafeLaunch at the California International Airshow in Salinas California

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“Most kids think flying is riskier than drugs and alcohol. They are dead wrong.”
– Ron Cuff, retired Navy carrier pilot

EVENT DATE: September 26-27, 2015

While aviation can produce beautiful and exciting images that thrill people and cause them to be amazed by views never seen before, rarely do kids have an opportunity to paint their dreams on the side of someone’s airplane. But that’s exactly what will happen Saturday and Sunday at the California International Airshow, courtesy of the nonprofit addiction prevention organization SafeLaunch. Members of the public ages 8-18 will be invited to paint their dreams of a healthy future on the sides of retired Navy Commander Ron Cuff’s Cessna. After the show, their art will take flight.

Ron Cuff explains; “SafeLaunch was founded Janet Rowse and myself once we learned that 90% of addiction starts in adolescence, that it’s treatable but not curable, and that kids are up to six time more at risk than adults. I have a pen, a smart device and a plane, so we went to work on a creative plan to get the word out to parents and community leaders.”

Based out of Santa Barbara, this will be the 14th “Flights Above Addiction” event sponsored by SafeLaunch donors. Prior to picking up a paintbrush, kids select a career path (or two or three), and pledge to abstain from alcohol tobacco and other drugs until age 21. Co-founder and co-pilot Janet Rowse emphasizes the importance of primary prevention, “Parents, teachers, coaches and other adults must do everything they can to keep kids away from drugs and alcohol because the disease of addiction kills 40,000 Americans every year by overdose alone. We invite everyone to pledge to do all that they can to ensure that the dreams envisioned by youth can come true”.

Click here to sponsor a Flight Above Addiction. Click here to see a slideshow.


Hollister Painter










Photo Courtesy of SafeLaunch ©

An Important Prevention Message Comes to Life at the Wings Over Watsonville Airshow

It was a picture perfect day in Watsonville on September 5,  where dozens of youth painted their dreams for their healthy futures on “DJ the Prevention Plane” at Wings Over Watsonville, the annual airshow and fly-in located in the Salinas Valley. The youth from the Sun Street Center STEPS organization and the general public covered the fuselage with colorful paint to underscore the message that developing minds are at great risk of dependency when exposed to drugs and alcohol. For more information click here.

Story and photo credit: SafeLaunch; and Todd Guild and Erik Chalhoub for the

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Be Inspired to Live Santa Barbara!

We’re excited to bring two great speakers to the members and parents of the United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County on Saturday, September 12, 2015. This will be Deputy District Attorney Gerry Lopez’ second speaking engagement for SafeLaunch in Santa Barbara. His last visit was to La Cumbre Junior High School in 2012 where parents were so engaged they followed him out the door! Tom Anderson, a local emergency room physician, will share actual stories about the consequences of drug and alcohol use to inspire the youth to live addiction-free healthy lives. This event is by invitation only. To schedule motivational speakers for your group, email

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