Local Sadd Chapter Wins State Honor


Payson High School's Students Against Destructive Decisions Chapter won the state's SADD chapter of the Year Award last week for the second time in as many years.

SADD sponsor Sandy Gunter said organizers at the annual state conference at Mesa Community Center said the two-time award is unprecedented.

Forty members of the PHS chapter were among 1,300 SADD members at the Oct. 20 conference.

"That's when we found out we were Chapter of the Year," Gunter said. "At the end of the year, we submit our scrapbook. It has the things we've done during that school year."

One of the group's goals last year was to let the community know that SADD isn't just about getting drunk drivers off the roads anymore. The group has changed its name and broadened its scope to help teens and others steer clear of dangerous behaviors.

Local Allstate agent Dee Wesley helped the group secure a $1,200 donation from Allstate Insurance.

The group also raised money during the year by selling candy at school, and SADD members participated in various community activities, including a community conference on alcoholism, the high school's homecoming parade, the town's Trunk-or-Treat Halloween event and Red Ribbon Week. SADD sponsors Red Ribbon Week every October to remind people not to drink and drive or make other poor choices.

The local SADD chapter donated money to the Time Out Shelter, and to a high school student who had a knee operation. The group read books to students at the middle school and gave stickers to local stores that sell tobacco, reminding clerks that it's illegal to sell to people under 18.Members of SADD will be wearing red ribbons and tying red ribbons on car antennas this week for Red Ribbon Week.

"And we have a chain of life in the student lounge with everybody's name in the school on it," she said. "The idea of the chain is not to make a destructive decision and break it.

"When a person dies, they die once, but the people they leave behind die a thousand deaths."

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