News and Events

Levy County Students Working Against Tobacco Chapter Wins First Place in Chiefland Chamber of Commerce’s Scarecrow Contest
October 31 , 2014

Several members of the Levy County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Chapter participated in planning and creating an anti-tobacco industry scarecrow display for the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Scarecrow Contest.

SWAT Scarecrow
Pictures from L to R: Kenneth Brown, Maria DePaz, Emma Ronchetti, and Julianna Justice

The SWAT students met after school in Chiefland three times to plan and assemble a display that included not one, but two scarecrows! The first scarecrow represented a tobacco industry executive, who was holding an arrow-shaped sign pointed at the second scarecrow, who was a small child. The sign said “Big Tobacco Targets Kids.” The tobacco executive was dressed in a suit and tie and the child was dressed in a t-shirt with a bull’s-eye on the front and he was wearing a pair of jeans. He was also holding a lollipop.

The SWAT scarecrow display’s message was that the tobacco industry targets children and teenagers with flavored tobacco products. To make sure that the message was communicated, the SWAT members created a graveyard with tombstones and various signs. The tombstones had epitaphs on them explaining how the person died from a tobacco-related death. For example, one epitaph read, “Here lies Brett who smoked his last cigarette.” In front of the tombstones, the students made giant pieces of colorful candy with cellophane and hay and laid them over the grave mounds.

Scarecrow Display

In the center of the scarecrow display, the students created two giant pieces of candy with a sign bearing the tobacco industry quote, “Cherry Skoal is for somebody who likes the taste of candy, if you know what I’m saying.” This quote was from a representative of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco in 1994.

The hard work the SWAT members put in on their scarecrow display earned them the First Place award in the Clubs Category. The scarecrows stayed up for nearly two months at the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce Office, where the Chiefland Saturday Farmer’s Market is also held. The Farmer’s Market is a tobacco free event created by the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Tobacco Free Partnership. The display generated a lot of discussion among passersby and it was also featured in the Chiefland Citizen newspaper.


“The students put a lot of thought and creativity into creating their scarecrows,” says Levy County Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Kristina Zachry. “I had fun helping them put everything together and I am so proud of them for winning First Place in their category. It was also a great opportunity for some community education about flavored tobacco products.”

For more information on  the Levy County SWAT Chapter, contact Kristina Zachry at