Category Archives: Blog

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


The Science Behind the SafeLaunch Mission: What Parents Need to Know

Age Increases-Risk Decreases

The brain is the repository of our humanity, wisdom, our ability to love, learn, create, compute, compose, contemplate, think, to remember, to feel empathy for others, to engage in justice and compassion. These natural rewards are the essence of human existence. Drugs can suppress, surmount, indeed supplant these rewards, creating a chemical world, a world of confidence tricks played on the mind. We recognize how precious, unique and fortunate we are to be the bearers of functional minds. We are united in a passionate desire to protect the minds of our most vulnerable- the children. This is not a war on drugs: it is a defense of children’s brains. – Dr. Bertha Madras

Slideshow: Everything You Need to Know About the Teen Brain