Thanks to Atlantic Aviation and Lenz Pest Control, who sponsored SafeLaunch at this event, the Flights Above Addiction interactive youth exhibit was a resounding success. Over 60 youth were “Pre-Flighted” for a healthy life and painted “DJ” during the weekend’s exciting event.
Thank you community partners!
SafeLaunch is bringing a “Flight Above Addiction” to the Hollister Airport on June 20 & 21 and everyone is invited!
A public event for artistic youth and aviation enthusiasts
This will be the tenth 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 utilizes the creativity of youth to raise awareness about the threat of addiction to young brains. “A 14 year old’s 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.
Every young person who paints the plane will receive a “pre-flight” card signed by Cdr. Cuff. The card will serve as a pledge and a plan– a pledge to avoid experimentation with drugs and alcohol until the brain is fully developed, and a plan for a healthy life and a rewarding career.
“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 it where it starts 90% of the time… with adolescent exposure to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs,” stated Co-Founder Janet Rowse.
The public and press are invited to see the art come to life during the Hollister Airshow. For information about SafeLaunch or to sponsor an air show event, email info@SafeLaunch.org.
At 9:30am this Saturday, May 30th, a team of artists from the United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County will paint an airplane beneath the control tower at the Santa Barbara Airport at Above All Aviation located at 1523 Cook Place. At 11:30, SafeLaunch will dedicate the wings of the plane to young people who died from addiction. With their names affixed beneath the wings of “DJ”, the SafeLaunch airplane, their lives give lift to an important mission.
In the coming months, SafeLaunch will fly DJ to six air shows, where young people and their families will learn about the people whose lives were cut short by addiction, pledge to abstain from alcohol and other drugs until their brains are fully developed, and paint their great futures on the airplane. “Helping youth soar to new heights through the arts and not the use of drugs is a program that fits within our mission,” says Boys and Girls Club CEO, Michael Baker.
Janet Rowse, co-founder of SafeLaunch and wife of Santa Barbara city councilmember Randy Rowse, believes that “when we mix kids with art and aviation, we inspire them to reach their highest potential.” SafeLaunch co-founder and pilot Ron Cuff explains that a safe, successful flight is a metaphor for a safe and successful life. “Every successful flight requires a flight plan with alternatives if bad weather or mechanical problems crop up. Life is the same way. Young people without a plan are likely to miss their destination,” he explains to the kids who participate in SafeLaunch programs.
The SafeLaunch message is clear. The adolescent brain is up to 600% more susceptible to addiction, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol is a risk that no person under 21 should ever take.
This event is sponsored by Santa Barbara Aviation and Above All Aviation. For sponsorship information, email info@SafeLaunch.org or call 805-283-7233.