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State Honoree

Mark Jones

West Virginia

Mark Jones, 17, of North Marion High School in Farmington, West Virginia, transformed a minimal volunteer position with a local tobacco coalition into a self-initiated drug and tobacco prevention program geared toward youngsters. Cowboy Dave, Mark's stage persona, takes a wooden horse with anti-drug messages hanging from its ears to day care centers, schools, scout troops, libraries, summer camps, and church groups throughout Marion County. Since the project debuted in December 1996, Mark has made 63 appearances as Cowboy Dave, reaching nearly 1,300 children with his drug free message. "I have learned how to give of myself and get only hugs and smiles in return," said Mark, who is now modifying his presentation to focus on a growing problem in his area: chewing tobacco.