SADD Prepare for State Convention in Dothan

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

The Century Council against Drunk Driving reports nearly 40% of eighth graders admit to consuming alcohol at least once.

Dothan high school's "Students against Destructive Decisions" better known as SADD, says that number is too high.

The group is on a mission to save lives by promoting healthy lifestyle alternatives.

Dothan High SADD members are a group of talented, motivated, and busy people.

They're working around the clock to get things in order for their state convention, which will be held here in Dothan Saturday.

This is the first time a state SADD convention has been held outside of Montgomery or Birmingham.

"We've asked Craig Tornquist, professional comedian to do shows at each one of the middle schools to get the kids excited and preach the message about the dangers of destructive decisions,” said Christopher Payne, Dothan High SADD Director.

The Dothan High's SADD Chapter hosted the presentation for students at Girard Middle School.

Payne says 8th graders are at a critical point in their lives.

"These kids feed into our high school and the age on onset for destructive decisions is around 11 and 12 years old."

Preventing underage drinking and other risky behavior is the group's mission.

The 2009 survey on drug use and health reports nearly 10.5-Million youth between ages 12 to 20 report current alcohol consumption.

"I hope this message will have an effect on our students," said Girard Middle School Principal Greg Yance.

It’s the group's passion and dedication that's bringing the SADD state convention to Dothan.

“We're all so excited and we've been preparing all year to host the convention here," said Alexis Smith, SADD Member.

“We're going to showcase with our chapter volunteering. Over the last year and a half we've gone over 11,000 hours of community service," said Payne.

“So many organizations call us to come help them out. I think the community is seeing what a great impact we can help them do," said Smith.

SADD is counting on students from across the Wiregrass to watch, listen and partake in the simulations.

"We've invited all the SADD chapters in the area, dignitaries in Dothan who are coming," said Smith.

The SADD state convention is at the Dothan Civic Center Saturday February 12th from 8:00am until 5:00pm.

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