Local SADD group honored at state event

The Warren County Students Against Destructive Decisions organization was honored at a statewide conference earlier this month.

The Mary Ann Bowman Prevention Award is presented once a year to one organization recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of drug and alcohol abuse prevention in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, especially in the areas of driving under the influence, underage drinking and youth involvement.

Chief Adult Probation Officer Carl McKee of the Warren County Probation Office accepted the award at the Pennsylvania State SADD Conference at Seven Springs Resort in Champion on Nov.13 on behalf of Bonnie Webster, the county SADD coordinator.

Students from Warren Area High School, Sheffield Area High School, Youngsville High School and Tidioute Community Charter School attended the event.

McKee said, “Bonnie Webster, Warren County SADD coordinator, and the SADD advisors do the bulk of the work.”

Webster is responsible for hosting the monthly county SADD meetings, and organizing the annual Warren County SADD conference in the spring, making sure that it is an event that the students not only enjoy, but also learn from in the process.

“This program works really well in high school, and the goal with SADD is to prevent them from picking up that first one,” McKee said.

He added that one of the difficult parts about the program is, “They graduate. You have to rebuild the team every year.”

The late Mary Ann Bowman was the Prevention Education coordinator for Twin Lakes and served as the DUI coordinator for Somerset County. She was actively involved in SADD and many other organizations that served youth dedicated her life to the idea of prevention.