Category Archives: Blog

SafeLaunch Takes Flights Above Addiction to Prescott Arizona’s Hope Takes Flight Festival

Hope Takes Flight Logo

The science of addiction will combine with art and airplanes at a Hope Takes Flight event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Legend Aviation building near the airport, 2020 Clubhouse Drive in Prescott. The free event for children ages 7-18 is sponsored by MATFORCE, Legend Aviation and SafeLaunch, an organization out of Santa Barbara, California, that works with parents and teens to stop addiction before it starts.

Sally Schindel, a Prescott parent who lost her son at age 31 to addiction, worked with SafeLaunch previously, and her son’s name is now permanently inscribed under the wings of the organization’s Cessna 182. Any parent who has lost a child because of addiction may contact the Wind Beneath Our Wings component of SafeLaunch by Sept. 30 to add a name to the airplane. Contact or Janet Rowse at 805-283-7233.

On Oct. 17, children will have the opportunity to participate in one of two workshops – 9 a.m. or noon – in a three-hour commitment that includes a “flying brain science lesson” using art and aviation where they will paint images of their dreams directly onto the airplane. No pre-registration is required.

Included in this community event is live music by three bands – Generation, Fault Line, and Stuff,  free ice cream, prizes and opportunities to look close-up at airplanes, helicopters, a police car, an airport fire truck, hot rods and motorbikes. Donations to cover the cost of bringing the SafeLaunch airplane to Prescott are welcome.

For more information, call Sally Schindel at 602-565-5860 or email

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

FAA Logo

“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 ©

SafeLaunch Invites Youth to Paint an Airplane at the Watsonville Fly-In and Airshow

A Public Art Event for Teens and Aviation Enthusiasts


SafeLaunch is bringing a “Flight Above Addiction” to the Watsonville Fly-In on September 5, 2015 and everyone is invited! Beginning on Saturday at 9am, local teens will have the chance to paint a real airplane with real paint. This will be the fourteenth SafeLaunch Flight Above Addiction event in California, where preteens and teens are invited to paint their dreams for a healthy future, a future free from the disease of addiction, onto retired Navy Commander Ron Cuff’s Cessna Skylane, N521DJ.

The Cessna is a focal point for the primary addiction prevention organization SafeLaunch, co-founded by Ron Cuff and Janet Rowse. SafeLaunch uses art to raise awareness about the threat of addiction to young brains. “A 14 year olds brain, if exposed to any addictive substance, is up to six times more susceptible to this incurable disease than is an adult’s, according to recent research from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University,” Cuff says.

“We invite youth to focus on the beauty of life and the many ways that they can achieve a “natural” high. SafeLaunch encourages everyone to learn the facts about addiction, and to do everything possible to stop addiction where it starts 90% of the time… with adolescent exposure to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs,” stated Co-Founder Janet Rowse. Youth from the Monterey and Salinas STEPs groups will paint their design on one side of the plane and the public (18 and under) is invited to paint the other side of the Cessna.

Thank you to our event sponsor Santa Barbara Aviation for making this flight possible!

The public and press are invited to see the art come to life at the fly-in until 3pm on Saturday.  For information about SafeLaunch or to sponsor an air show event, email