Author Archives: SafeLaunch

Millennials Remembered at the 2016 Wings Over Watsonville Airshow

Aircraft Carrier pilot will reveal the names of some very special millennials who are the “Wind Beneath His Wings” at Wings Over Watsonville

April Rovero

“I feel deep remorse for what my generation has wrought, and I am determined to do something about it.” states retired Navy Carrier Pilot Commander Ron Cuff. “As a card-carrying “Baby Boomer” I feel partially responsible for the epidemic of addiction we now have, with hundreds of loved, young people dying every day. Although I wasn’t a part of my generation’s drug culture, it was my generation that promoted illicit drug and heavy alcohol abuse… and normalized it. Because of this, we are living with a national overdose epidemic that no one saw coming. I have affixed the names of people who lost their young lives from drug and alcohol abuse under my aircraft’s wings to show parents and children that serious, sometimes deadly, consequences from drug and alcohol use can happen to anyone.”

Great Flight NoseSafeLaunch, the nonprofit Cuff co-founded, is bringing its 22nd “Flight Above Addiction” to the Wings Over Watsonville Fly-In on September 3, 2016. There, teens and preteens will be given the opportunity to paint their dreams for a healthy future on Cuff’s solid white Millennium Edition Cessna Skylane.

The Cessna is a focal point for SafeLaunch. Co-founded with Janet Rowse, SafeLaunch raises awareness about the serious threat of drugs and alcohol to developing brains. “A 14 year old’s brain, if exposed to an addictive substance, is up to 600% more susceptible than is an adult’s,” Rowse says. Together, she and Cuff encourage parents to learn the facts and do everything possible to stop addiction where it starts 90% of the time… with adolescent exposure to alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and other drugs. Cuff tells kids, “A good life is like a good flight. It takes a careful plan and an alert mind, one not fogged by drugs or alcohol, to reach to your life destination”.



Wings Over Camarillo Air Show Youth Attendees to Paint their Dreams on a Cessna

Flights Above Addiction

An interactive aircraft exhibit for artistic youth and aviation enthusiasts comes to Wings Over Camarillo on August 20 & 21 with an important message

SafeLaunch will be bringing the “Flights Above Addiction” aircraft to the Wings Over Camarillo Airshow Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21, to offer teens and pre-teens the chance to paint her fuselage with real paint. While famous aerobatic competitors Vicky Benzing, Dr. Frank Donnelly, Judy Phelps, John Collver and Tim Lust soar overhead, youth air show attendees, including some members from the Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo, will be painting their dreams for a healthy future onto the Cessna 182 named, “DJ”.  DJ, owned by former Point Mugu Missile Test Pilot and SafeLaunch Co-Founder Ron Cuff, is the focal point for SafeLaunch, a primary addiction prevention nonprofit based in Santa Barbara.

“Kids, like pilots, need to stay sharp”, says Cuff, “and just like planning for a successful flight, kids need to have a life plan with a destination. Without a plan, a young person is far more susceptible to experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and going off course.”

SafeLaunch uses art and DJ to raise awareness about the high risk of addiction to young brains. “Fourteen year olds are up to six times more susceptible to developing a dependency to drugs and alcohol than are adults”, co-founder and co-pilot Janet Rowse says. “Going to airshows gives us the opportunity to meet families one-on-one and encourage them to do everything possible to prevent addiction where it starts 90% of the time… with early exposure to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.” See Wings Over Camarillo for tickets and air show information. See SafeLaunch for more information or email to get involved.

SafeLaunch is a registered California nonprofit, Tax ID #46-2832792. Through educational programs for families including Flights Above Addictionⓒ, Wind Beneath Our Wings, parent education seminars, and Media $500 Contestsⓒ, the number of children exposed to drugs and alcohol is reduced.

SafeLaunch Flies Their 20th Flight Above Addiction

Father’s Day 2016 weekend at the Hollister Airshow in California provided a picture perfect backdrop for plein air plane painting. This was the 20th SafeLaunch Flight Above Addiction, where parents learn how and why to protect their children from drug and alcohol exposure while their children paint their dreams onto the fuselage of an all-white Cessna.

The SafeLaunch mission to prevent addiction where it almost always starts… with kids, is so important that co-founder Ron Cuff doesn’t object when other airshow pilots call him crazy for letting kids paint his plane, or when they ask him for the umpteenth time whether the paint washes off. Rather, he offers them– and all parents– the opportunity to “Take the Pledge” to be a strong and loving parent who refuses to let children experiment with drugs or alcohol.

Enjoy this short video of our 20th mission to stop addiction.