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Teens Paint the State with meth-free messages

2010-09-10T00:00:00Z 2010-09-21T12:01:36Z Teens Paint the State with meth-free messages The Billings Gazette
September 10, 2010 12:00 am

Hundreds of teens spent most of July and August spreading the word about the dangers of meth to friends and families. Their medium was not advertising, but rather their own creativity, dedication and spirit of collaboration, all put to good use in this year’s Paint the State contest.

I had the pleasure of being a judge for this year’s contest, responsible for selecting the winners in Custer County. It was a difficult task. Not only was I impressed by the creativity of our young people, I was moved by their hard work commitment to their community. Teens in Custer County and throughout the state dedicated hundreds of hours to creating large-scale art pieces to tell friends and family that they should stay away from meth. In fact, the state’s grand prizewinner — Faith Martin of my own Custer County — spent more than 40 hours constructing a 3D mural, 13 feet tall on the side of a barn. Along with her co-contestant Beth Sutler, Faith created a skeleton rodeo rider with the words “Don’t Let Meth Be Your Last Ride.”

Indeed, meth has been the last ride for too many Montanans. Our best course of action is to follow the lead of our young people and work closely together to eliminate meth from our state. Support the efforts of the Montana Meth Project and the local community based organizations and schools who partner with them on important community outreach initiatives like Paint the State. Please go to for more information.

Gary Matthews

Custer County Commissioner

Miles City

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