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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 24, 2016

5/4/2013 12:12:00 PM
DDB student wins MATForce poster contest
MATFORCE congratulates poster contest grand prize-winner Clay Bowers, a 6-year-old student from Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School in Cottonwood.
MATFORCE congratulates poster contest grand prize-winner Clay Bowers, a 6-year-old student from Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School in Cottonwood.

MATFORCE announces two Youth Poster Contest grand prize winners: Clay Bowers, a 6-year-old student from Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School in Cottonwood and Amy Owings, a 17-year-old student from Prescott High School in Prescott. MATFORCE's Youth Poster Contest is an annual event held to raise awareness among youth about the risks of drug and alcohol abuse.

Each of the grand prize winning posters gives a powerful message. Clay Bowers' poster reads "Drugs are scary." Amy Owings' message is "Don't horse around with drugs." Clay won an iPad and Amy won a $500 cash award. These posters will be featured on MATFORCE substance abuse awareness materials throughout 2013.

Over 650 students from throughout Yavapai County participated in the contest. The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office assists in promoting this contest each year. Deputy Scott Reed said, "With so many outstanding posters, it was difficult to choose the winners. What impresses me the most is that so many students express such a strong opinion against the abuse of drugs or alcohol. They are to be commended."

First place winners were selected in each age category and winners received a $25 gift card. First place awards went to: Age 5/6 Amarissa Bellows, Model Creek School, Yarnell; Age 7/8 Jade Noel Ditto, Miller Valley Elementary School, Prescott; Age 9/10 Katelyn Woods, Mountain View Elementary School, Prescott Valley; Age 11/12 Nicole Babbitt, Granville Elementary School, Prescott Valley; Age 13/14 Lindsay Marrujo, Mile High Middle School, Prescott; Age 15/16 Michelle Galvez, Red Rock High School, Sedona; Age 17/18 Aubrey Wilson, Mingus Union High School, Cottonwood.

With so many outstanding posters submitted, MATFORCE also commends honorable mention winners: Abia Judd Elementary School, Prescott - Milap Owensand, Tessa Martinez; Bagdad Elementary School, Bagdad - Megan Hulse and Rein Lewis: Bagdad High School, Bagdad - Mary Renee Maez and Micoya Bennet; Beaver Creek Elementary School, Rimrock - Mariel Cuevas; Boys and Girls Club of Northern Arizona - Cierra Fanning and Stephanie Garcia; Bradshaw Mountain Middle School, Dewey - Aleina Sansky; Clarkdale Jerome Elementary School, Clarkdale - Lindsey Jones; Cottonwood Middle School, Cottonwood - Chase Paquin, Dakota Spear, Keagan Schults, Lilly Rodriguez, Maresa Davila, Sienna Duenas, Trevor Galloway, Xavier Canez and Valerie Brenes; Franklin Phonetic School, Prescott Valley - Monica Lau; Glassford Hill Middle School, Prescott Valley - Abbey Hamilton, Airam Valenzuela, Andrew Moreno, C. Perry, Elssy Estrada, Felicia Saenz, Hayden Ruiz, Isaac Rios, Jacob Batty, Joshua Castro-Saravia, Kenneth Kirkland, Lawrence Rogers, Luis Garcia, Luke Schaetzle, Nathan Metcalf, Skyla Monreal, Tyler Hay and Yulisa Sotelo; Granville Elementary School, Prescott Valley - Hayden Scoplitte, Julie Anna Clauss and Mackenzie Killinger; Hillside Elementary School, Bagdad - Hannah Mills, Kiki Benavidez and William Webster; Miller Valley Elementary School, Prescott - Addie Wilson, Brian Vera Reyes, Emma Layne Burke, Jacki Diaz Sanchez, Jazlyn Rice and Kylee Fanty; Mingus Mountain Academy, Prescott Valley - Aspen F., Elliana I., Jena D., Speranza, Tayler Diane S. and Toryana D.; Model Creek School, Yarnell - Elizabeth Freeland; Mountain View Preparatory, Cottonwood - Ella Behlow; Prescott High School, Prescott - Alexander Beazer, Andre Uncapher, Anthony Murillo, Quinton Kreyling and Sarah Rice; and Seligman Middle School, Seligman - Jerred Holtz.

Grand prize and first place winning posters can be viewed at Beginning in June, all winning posters will be displayed throughout Yavapai County in the MATFORCE Youth Poster Contest Road Show. Watch for the upcoming display schedule.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Article comment by: CHICAGO WRITER

Congratulations to Clay and all of the winners and participants of this program!
If a child cannot differentiate between drugs that are prescribed to treat a disease and illegal drugs, parents would do well to take the time to teach them. Many do not realize that indoctrination and education are worlds apart. There are many organizations that "duplicate" MATforce-agreed, but there are many other program that are supported by this organization. Anything/ anyone that keeps children from ruining their lives is a good. .

Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Hurray for a great drawing. Medicine and drugs have their place.The problem seems to be(especially with Ridalin& Adderal)the parents and teachers want no drama in or out
of the classrooms.
Want Johnny calm?Just snow him.

Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

Oh so "misuse" makes prescription drugs okay, even though most have a side effect list a MILE long? Semantics are not FACTS. Fact is . . . there is NO EPIDEMIC here.

So HOW do we believe our doctors are not MISUSING their prescription pads, when they get kickbacks and gifts from BIGPharma?

Morphine, oxycodone and novacaine is GOOD. Heroine and cocaine is BAD.

Grandma uses medical MARIJUANA because she has cancer and it is legal, but marijuana is BAD.

How do we explain cousin Jimmie sucking down energy drinks and ending up in the HOSPITAL with a caffeine overdose?

No honey you are not a DRUG ADDICT because the doctor put you on Adderall or Ritalin.

How do we explain ALCOHOLIC Uncle Joe, when it is perfectly legal?

Yes, honey . . . Aunt Jane DIED cause she smoked cigarettes and it was PERFECTLY legal!

MIXED MESSAGES . . . what is a kid to THINK?

Leave the educating to parents, MATforce is a waste of resources, a bunch of wanna be crimefighters that think they are some kind of SUPERHEROES. Come on . . . MATFORCE? What kind of image does the name bring to mind?

Kids see through LIES, propaganda and hypocrisy . . .

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Medical Provider *

Regarding the unfortunate incidents stated by Gaia Girl. Your friend's death and the statistics you post are primarily a result of the MISUSE of prescription drugs. You should be more prudent about your knowledge and statements of the "facts".

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: Susie Rockford

First off people are overreacting about this picture. The kid is 6. There is a difference between drugs and medications. He is saying drugs are bad not medications. So get over it with the whole brainwashing/propaganda crap. It's am awesome pic that should be celebrated not torn apart.

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Lee Martez

Clay’s drawing has done what it was intended for. It has gotten people thinking and talking! Regardless of your opinion on MATForce, the definition of “drug”, or the adjective that should be used to describe a very real problem this little boys drawing has obviously made an impact. However, It would be nice if you could refrain from voicing your own agendas on a page designed to celebrate a 6 year old winning a contest. Congratulations Clay, you drew a wonderful poster!

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Fairy Tales are fiction

Doesn't take much to brainwash a 6 year old, they believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy afterall.

What makes you think he is "getting it?"

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

@ Concerned Medical Provider

You and your profession SCARE the h3ll out of me in this town. You are supposed to be CURRENT in your education, it would also be prudent for you to be CURRENT on your local area statistics before making fear based statements like this:

"epidemic illegal drug problem in this community"

EPIDEMIC? The MAJORITY of the overdose cases that have occured in this community have been due to LEGAL PRESCRIPTION drugs.

There were EIGHTY (80) drug violations in 2012 in Cottonwood according to the police and reported in THIS newspaper. EIGHTY in a population of a little over 11,000. So either you do not know the definition of EPIDEMIC or you just want to frighten people.

It is OBVIOUS from your post, that you do not know at all what you are talking about.

Recently, I lost a dear friend, he was only 44 years of age. His wife just got back the toxicology report. "He died due to the frequency and combination of LEGAL drugs prescribed." He had ONE doctor and he was LEGALLY taking TWENTY TWO (22) different medications for pain. The man did not have CANCER, diabetes or any other SERIOUS disease, he had severe BACK PAIN from compressed discs.

TWENTY TWO . . . Many were prescribed 3 and 4 times a day.

If he had been using medical marijuana for pain, HE WOULD BE HERE TODAY!

I carry a card in my wallet with my driver's liscense, it reads: IN CASE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY, PLEASE AIRLIFT TO FLAGSTAFF OR PHOENIX.

You can keep your Cottonwood QUACKS!

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Grateful Parent

I would like to thank Clay Bowers for helping me as a parent explain to my son in first grade, how important it is to stay aware from drugs. As you can clearly see in the picture, the monster is smoking a drug. My son doesn't understand the generic or street slang for recreational drugs. He does however understand the general difference between medicine and drugs. As a community we should be standing behind our youth for doing something positive. Thanks again Clay, you are an amazing artist!

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Tired of Propaganda

@ Clay's Grandmother

Not one person here ridiculed your grandson's drawing. Read the posts again, they are talking about what MATforce is teaching.

What makes you think MATforce is an excellent program?

While they were busy telling people about the HORRORS of medical marijuana, just how many prescription abuse deaths did we have here in the Verde Valley?

They are creating a culture of mixed messages to our children. What kind of relationship is a MATforce brainwashed kid gonna have with their relative who may have to use medical marijuana? What if the child itself has to take prescription drugs, will their self esteem suffer? Their 'fact' sheets are mostly devoid of actual scientific facts, instead using fear based propaganda and surveys.

Please tell us what they have accomplished for our community that could not have been done by any of the state and national resources they list:

Partnership at

Drug Free

Parents: The Anti-Drug/

Time to Talk/

Any parent with half a brain, can get the information they need on the internet.

I don't know where they get their funding, but it is a total waste of money. They only duplicate programs (and badly at that) that already exist.

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: All Drugs Are Bad

There is NO need for drugs of any kind in our society. Eat well, exercise, and learn to deal with a few hiccups. As to the girl with cramps, tell her to go for a walk, drink a hot cup of raspberry tea and stop being a wimp.
All drugs are unnecessary and our bodies were never designed to heal themselves with big pharma chemicals. I agree and congratulate the 6 year old who sees this.
Stay away from drugs of all and any kind!

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Medical provider

Part of our epidemic illegal drug problem in this community may be a result of the lack of communication between adults and children. It is obvious in some of the ridiculous commentary that some adults cannot determine the difference between necessary prescription medications and dangerous street drugs. Clay's picture should be celebrated! Thank God the 6 year olds are getting it!

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Clay's Grandma

Seriously!!!! You people don't have anything more important to do in your lives than to ridicule a six year old's drawing!!!! Clay Bowers is my grandson and he has been taught that there is a difference between "medication" and "drugs". I am very proud of him and the way he was able to express himself in his drawing.
MATforce is an excellent program and has accomplished a lot for our community.

Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Article comment by: Wow! The Verde Valley is not full of Sheeple!

And here I thought MATForce was welcomed in this conservative town. Nice to see some folks that have critical thinking skills when it comes to teaching children about drugs vs drug abuse.

Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Article comment by: Bitter Pills

According the U.S. CDC, an estimated 6.4 million children (mostly white boys) ages 4 through 17 have received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis, and about 2/3 of those currently diagnosed are on some psychoactive prescription drug (primarily stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall, but also anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs).

Stimulants can improve focus and concentration short-term, but there are no long-term studies of either effectiveness or adverse effects on children who become addicted.

Many recent mass killers had been diagnosed as emotionally defective and prescribed psychoactive drugs to--supposedly--'normalize' their behavior.

Is drug dependence the new normal?


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