Don’s message to people of all ages impacts theirs lives concerning smoking and the use of tobacco. Below you will find excerpts from just a few of the many letters he has received from both program attendees and hosts.

What do students have to say?

“I knew smoking was bad for you, but hearing your talk made me realize it’s much worse than I thought.”
Amanda Turek
Queen of All Saints School

“I have had a lot of people talk to me about smoking, but none of them worked. Until you came, I didn’t think tobacco was that bad. Out of all the people who have talked to me, you are the only one who made me feel that cigarettes were very harmful.”
Jeff Baren
Oakville Jr. High School

“You presentation had a huge impact on students here. The pictures made some students cringe and I heard many people telling their friends that they were going to stop smoking.”
Tara Cluck
St. Charles High School
St. Charles, MO

“I learned many things in [Don’s] presentation. I often told people that I had never planned to smoke, but now I KNOW that I’m not going to…”
K.C. Wright
Manhattan, KS

“…your presentation has really made an impact on our student body…Many of our students could end up owing their lives to you…”
Mary Geldmacher, Kevin Haar, Adam Skaggs, Steve Walther
Vianney High School
St. Louis, MO

“…When I first heard that [Don Young] was coming, I was hesitant to think that anything good was going to come out of it. I was sure that it was going to be boring…I was completely wrong.”
Anonymous Student
Manhattan, KS

What do adults think about Don?

“…many have come forward to pledge that they have decided to quit smoking. Parents have called to say what a tremendous impression that you have made in their child’s life.”
Kathy Venverloh, RN
School Nurse
Oakville Senior High School

“…it had a dramatic impact on my daughter and her friends. She told me all about it. Half of the kids were crying and the other half sickened by the graphic truth. She said they won’t smoke anymore. I want you to know that the talks you are giving are doing some good!”
Sheila Briggs
Sperreng Middle School

“…My teachers came up to me and said your presentation was a topic of discussion among students. The students felt the presentation was extremely effective…”
Mike McMullin
Dansville High School
Dansville, NY

“…[a local reporter in attendance] stopped me last week and said he officially quit smoking the Monday after your talk. He said he has not smoked since. The principal at the Middle School told me the custodian also quit smoking after hearing your presentation…”
Mark B.
Great Bend Police Department
Gread Bend, KS

“…One student took his tobacco out of his pocket and threw it into the garbage as he left our program! Many youth were very concerned about their parents who are using tobacco and I feel sure that they took the message home to their families…”
Joan Smith
Health Department
Riley County, KS

“…Don is one of the most reliable and valuable volunteers for many tobacco control events. I would recommend him to anyone who wants a presentation on tobacco…”
April Gross
American Cancer Society
St. Louis, MO

“Don Young has been one of Tobacco-Free Missouri’s most cherished volunteers…He has provided an invaluable service to the coalition by sharing his potentially life-saving message with thousands of school-age children each year…”
Pat Lindsey
Tobacco-Free Missouri
St. Louis, MO

“…The comments that I have heard since [our tobacco-prevention assemply], both from teachers and from students, have been very positive…”
Mark Penny, Becky Dulany
Moberly High School
Moberly, MO

“Thank you so much for agreeing to speak to the seventh and eighth grade students…The students really seemed to understand that they have the power to make vital decisions in their lives…”
Marlene Kuster
Immaculate Conception School
Jefferson City, MO