Motocross Riders Fly High on Life

Vrooommmm! Flying up the dirt course and over the stage, eight motocross riders were greeted with cheers from more than 900 middle- and high-school students gathered at the Malheur County Fairgrounds, which had been transformed into a motocross track. Community Crusade Against Drug Abuse (CCADA), with help from the MX Power Team, several local businesses and the Malheur County Commission on Children and Families, arranged for two sessions for local students to learn the benefits of living a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. A third evening session was open to the public.

Craig Bonson, CCADA president and Vale, Ore., church member, has a passion for teaching young people to “say yes to life and live life drug free!” Students from Gem State Adventist Academy (GSAA) and members of the MX Power Team presented skits demonstrating how drugs and alcohol affect not just your life, but the lives of those around you. One message that came through was that it’s okay to hold your friends accountable and to talk with them about their choices.

Bonson’s passion comes from his own experience as a teenager moving to harder and harder drugs. One night, he had a bad experience with drugs and decided that he needed to quit before he ended up dead. Bonson understands that drug use often starts with small, seemingly harmless habits. Not using drugs is a choice each person has to make regardless of their friends' influence.

Another member of the MX Power Team, Robert Forbes, a taskforce worker for GSAA outreach ministries last school year, grew up in a Jamaican home with a father who drank, smoked marijuana and physically abused his family. An older brother, through the use of marijuana and crack, fried his brain. Forbes determined not to do drugs and alcohol as he saw firsthand how they destroyed his family.

After the skits and presentations, the motocross riders started up their bikes. They circled the track over and over, flying high over the course to the cheers of the students. After their demonstration, they rode onto the stage, introduced themselves and gave their reasons for living a drug-free life. One rider said all his friends were drug-free, which was a major motivating factor for him. Afterward, the riders met with the students to sign autographs and talk.

Several local agencies had booths providing positive information on how to make the right choices and stick with them. One local auto dealer, Gentry Ford, donates the use of a pickup truck to haul CCADA’s trailer, which contains exhibits and information on drugs and alcohol. Each student was handed a bottle of water provided by the sponsors, which reminded them to “Say Yes to Life!”

Bonson, his family and his motocross riders also shared their message with the Pathfinders at the Faith on Fire Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis., in August.

CCADA involves more than 60 people, including 10 church members. For more information about CCADA and the MX Power Team, visit or call (208) 230-1888.

September 01, 2004 / Idaho Conference