SafeLaunch returns to Santa Ynez Airport Day with a Crazy Pilot, Paint and a Message on Saturday, May 21
Pilots and future pilots attending last year’s Santa Ynez Airport Day were stunned to see one pilot encourage kids to paint bright images all over his airplane! This Saturday, May 21 from 10am-3pm, he’ll be back.
Almost every pilot who witnessed the throng of enthusiastic kids painting the white Cessna Skylane last year thought that he must be crazy. He may well be, but there is a mission and a method to his madness. It’s called SafeLaunch and it is the name of the nonprofit Ron Cuff co-founded with Janet Rowse, wife of Santa Barbara City Councilmember Randy Rowse.
SafeLaunch, the name that implies launching kids safely into adulthood without the burden of addiction was derived from the thousands of safe launches from aircraft carriers that Commander Cuff witnessed and participated in while serving as a Naval Aviator.
SafeLaunch is the nation’s one and only nonprofit of its kind, 100% dedicated to primary prevention. According to Cuff, “Parents need to know that addiction affects over 23 million Americans and that 90% of it starts in the teen years.” Janet Rowse emphasizes the scientifically-proven vulnerability of teens’ developing brains– “This brain disease is almost 100% preventable, so it isn’t good enough to hope that your child will make a good decision whenever an opportunity presents itself,” she says. “Parents need information and tools to protect their children’s developing brains and futures, which is what SafeLaunch provides”.
Regardless of the “crazy pilot” moniker, Cuff can’t be dissuaded. “Hey, I’ve got a blank canvas that flies, and we tell kids that painting a life free from addiction is the way to go. All they need is a destination, a flight plan and a clear head.”
“Our Flights Above Addiction plane painting exhibit gives kids a chance to get up close and personal with aviation. It’s our hope that they will see their dreams take off just like this colorful airplane”, adds Rowse. “We invite everyone to come to this great local event where kids can take a free flight thanks to this great Santa Ynez airport, some committed EAA Young Eagles pilots and a generous community of sponsors.
For more information call 805-283-7233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org