Empowering Fountain Hills Students to Live Drug & Alcohol Free

Protecting our youth and making an impact since 2009

A group of concerned Fountain Hills citizens, worried about underage drinking parties and their inherent dangers, came together and formed the Fountain Hills Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition in 2009. Our coalition is a 501c3 nonprofit organization made up of 12 community sector representatives including town leadership, law enforcement, our public school district, tribal representatives, healthcare professionals, parents, treatment facilities, and youth participants. Over the years we have expanded our focus to include not only underage drinking, but also nicotine use (including vaping), marijuana use, opioid dangers, and prescription drug abuse.

Join us on our mission to achieve sustainable reductions in substance abuse among youth in Fountain Hills and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

Through a series of curated school programs, community events, and parent resources, we are able to connect with Fountain Hills youth, parents, and other stakeholders to provide them with the encouragement and information they need to support their students through tough social situations as they go through middle and high school. We want them to understand that using alcohol and illicit drugs is actually not the norm in their community, empowering them to rise above peer influences.

Programs that get results



In E-Cigarette Use



In Alcohol Consumption



In Prescription Drug Use



In Marijuana Use

Based on 2022 Arizona Youth Survey results of Fountain Hills students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades compared to 2018.

School Programs

Reaching students on campus through educational events

Middle School Programs

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is a week-long initiative in October to bring awareness to the devastating impacts of drugs, alcohol, and vaping. The week’s activities may typically include spirit days, daily announcements by the principal, a drug-free pledge opportunity, an educational video for the students about the history of the program, Plant the Promise tulip planting, 4th grade academic strategies door decorating contest, drone footage of our “human red ribbon,” daily raffle drawings, and culminating in an Educational Health Fair for all students, parents, grandparents, and guardians. The fair can feature more than a dozen organizations and agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Fort McDowell Department of Education, Maricopa County Health Department, PTO, Boys and Girls Club, Kiwanis, amongst others, as well as High School Volunteers and a visit from the Falcon Mascot for photo-op opportunities! The goal for the morning is to have fun while learning to live a healthy, drug-free life.

Poster Contest

The poster contest is open to all Fountain Hills Middle School students. The theme for Grades 4 and 5 is “Leading the Way: Be Respectful, Responsible, Safe, and Kind.” Students are to choose one of those words and show visually what it means to them in a poster format. The theme for Grades 6, 7, and 8 is “Leading the Way, Above the Influence” and students are to show visually as a poster what that means to them. The goal of the contest is to bring awareness to the students around ways they can live a drug and alcohol-free life. There are prizes for the first, second, and third place winners of each grade. The 2023 contest closes on April 21st at 3:15pm.

High School Programs

2023 Essay Contest Winners

Annual Essay Contest

Every year, the Fountain Hills Coalition sponsors a community-wide essay contest for all high school students. We work closely with all four English teachers at Fountain Hills High School who decide upon the three questions for the students to answer. The students then choose one question to formulate their essay. Judging of the essays takes place the first week of February. Winners and their parents are invited to an awards luncheon in March where first, second, and third place essays receive a cash prize and fourteen honorable mention essays are recognized. Congratulations to our 2023 award recipients!

Speaker Series

The coalition organizes ongoing  guest speakers at the high school to engage teens on issues impacting them. For example, Cari Fonseca visited the Fountain Hills High School for two speaking engagements in 2022. Cari is the mother to Brandon, who at 21 years of age back in 2001, chose to drive drunk with 2 friends in the car. Brandon suffered a severe traumatic brain injury from the motor vehicle crash he was in while his best friend was killed instantly. Brandon passed years later from complications surrounding his injuries. Her story is presented from the offender’s point of view while sharing photos and actual footage of the accident, interviews conducted, and Brandon’s life after the accident. Cari spoke to the 10th and 11th graders at the Fountain Hills High School the week before homecoming and returned the following week to share Brandon’s story with the 9th graders.

Parent Resources

As a parent or caregiver, you have tremendous influence on your child’s life. Your constant and caring involvement can help inspire your child to make healthy, drug-free choices.

Below are resources and information to get started. Just click the image to download the PDF brochure.

Parent Talk Kit

Six research-supported parenting practices to set you on the right path.

Underage Drinking Talk Kit

Includes five conversation goals, answers to the tough questions, and a family agreement you and your child can sign.

Prescription Drug Talk Kit

Tips for what to say to prevent prescription drug abuse.

Marijuana Talk Kit

The facts, risks, what to say, and additional resources.

Vaping Talk Kit

What you need to know and how to talk to your kids about vaping.

E-Cigarette Talk Kit

Ways you can have a conversation with your kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes, including a tip sheet for parents.

Intervention Guide

What to do if your child is drinking or abusing drugs.

Fountain Hills Coalition Early Action Kit

Early Action Kit

These drug testing kits are FREE and easy for Fountain Hills parents to obtain and are designed to be discreet. You may pick one up at the below locations without any information needed in return.

Fountain Hills Middle School & Fountain Hills High School

Fountain Hills Fire Station #1  16246 Palisades Blvd. | 480-837-9820

Fountain Hills Fire Station #2  10650 N Fountain Hills Blvd. | 480-837-0804

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office  Admin Office 1st Floor | 16705 E. Ave. of the Fountains | 480-837-2047

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation | Education Dept. | 480-789-7000

Fountain Hills Coalition Prescription Drug Disposal

Safe Prescription Drug Disposal

Take it to the box!

Dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medications at the dropbox located in the Town Hall lobby, just outside the Sheriff’s Office entry.

Community Programs

Connecting with parents, students, and our community by participating in outreach opportunities

Teen Takeover

At various town-sponsored teen events, we deliver a learning experience to educate on the dangers of driving impaired, giving students strategies to prevent impaired driving and promotes sober driving.

Back to School Bash

We are passionate participants in this annual event put on by the Town of Fountain Hills. We set up a “Drunk Goggle” game and handed out swag bags with valuable parent resources on topics like vaping, dealing with stress, and making good choices. We also raffle off several gift cards to local restaurants as a way to draw the community in to learn about our important mission.

Fountain Hills Cares

This is an ongoing series offered by the Town of Fountain Hills. We have provided speakers for this series and also hand out information on how to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, resource guides and booklets regarding substance abuse prevention.

Prescription Drug Take Back

Twice a year, local law enforcement and the DEA team up to collect and dispose of prescription drugs to prevent abuse. We provide volunteers to assist at the table. There is also a green deposit box inside Town Hall next to the Sheriff’s Office entry for people to leave prescription drugs at any time the building is open.

Community Events

We participate in various expos at the Fountain Hills Community Center and events around town to connect with professionals and parents, seek volunteers for future opportunities, and distribute substance abuse prevention materials.

In the News

Coalition in 2023

Concern for Youth Reflected in Survey

Parks & Rec Hosts Teen Night

Tammy Bell to Coalition Board

Red Ribbon Week Returns

Prescription Drug Takeback Event

A Safe Holiday: Opinion Piece by Mike Scharnow

Uphoff Joins Coalition Staff

Board of Directors & Staff

Tammy Bell

Bob Ditta

Doug Hebert

Dwight Johnson

Shelly Mowrey

Dr. Patrick Sweeney

Mike Scharnow

Executive Director

Shawn Uphoff

Program Manager

Sector Meetings

All meetings are from 9:00 – 10:30am at the Fountain Hills Learning Center

September 8, 2022

October 20, 2022

December 8, 2022

January 19, 2023

March 2, 2023

May 11, 2023

Sector Leaders & Volunteers

Schools | FHUSD Dr. Cain Jagodzinski

State and National Prevention Agency | U.S. DEA: Doug Hebert

Town Government | Community Services – Recreation Ryan Preston

Mental Health | Fountain Hills Middle School Counselor: Angela Buczek

Youth Serving Organization | Boys & Girls Club Lauren Stratton/Jarrin Rozenblad

Faith-Based Community | Christ’s Church Trace Miller and Dee Pavia

Media | Fountain Hills Times Ryan Winslett

Law Enforcement | Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office: Cpt. Larry Kratzer

Tribal Representative | Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation Dr. Vicky Corlett

Local Businesses | Chamber of Commerce Tammy Bell

Civic Clubs | Bob Ditta

Parents | PTO Jelaine Goldapper, Parent: Andrea Krueger

Youth | Fountain Hills High School Representatives: Emerson Uphoff, Olivia Melloy, Katelyn Smout, and Ayden Nguyen

Contact Us

The Fountain Hills Coalition is a member of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and sends several coalition members to the annual CADCA Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. to learn about best practices in the prevention field, emerging drug trends and are able to build partnerships with other coalitions across America.The coalition is a graduate of the National Coalition Academy conducted by CADCA.

The coalition is a member of Substance Abuse Coalition Leaders of Arizona (SACLAz), which was developed to strengthen and support the collective impact of substance abuse coalitions in Arizona. The primary goal of SACLAz is preventing youth use of drugs and alcohol.

16921 E Palisades Blvd #103
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268


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