Local girl wins national award

While most 12-year-olds are busy with sports, playing musical instruments and hanging out with friends, Sarah Stadler finds time for all of that and volunteers for Mothers Against Drunk Driving too.

It was her volunteerism that made her one of 2,000 young people worldwide to be presented the Millennium Dreamer award.

The award, sponsored by McDonald's and Disney, recognizes young people who work to make a difference in their communities.

Sarah, a seventh-grader at Carson Middle School, said she was surprised when she heard she won the award.

"I was really proud of myself," she said. "I knew how wide the program was and hard it was going to be to get picked."

Sarah was nominated by Lyon County MADD chapter president Judy Jacoboni.

"Sarah is an inspiration to people of all ages," Jacoboni said. "Sarah has truly made a positive and significant impact on our community. I commend McDonald's and Disney for conducting the Millennium Dreamers Program and recognizing deserving children around the world."

McDonald's threw a going-away party for Sarah and her family and friends Thursday to send her off to Disney World in Florida on Monday to accept her award.

"I'm excited to go because I'm going to meet a lot of new people that are doing great things in their communities, too," Sarah said. "I'm going to come back with a greater sense that I'm not the only one trying to make a difference."

Sarah's mother, Laurel Stadler, founded the Lyon County MADD chapter. Stadler said her daughter's involvement started small.

"Sarah started going to different events with me," Stadler said. "Then she started taking a leadership role in preventing underage drinking."

Stadler said she thinks Sarah's cause is a valid one at any age.

"It's just so important to let young people know that they do not have to have alcohol involved in their young lives," she said.

Sarah designed MADD's float in the 1998 Nevada Day Parade with the theme "Blazing Trails to Nowhere (With Alcohol)."

She led the 1999 campaign, "Lose the Booze-You're cool without it."

Sarah said she feels compelled to volunteer.

"I volunteer because I see the results of drunk driving crashes and binge drinking and I think I need to do something to change that," she said.

However, she said more people should become involved.

"I think it's everybody's responsibility," she said. "I'm just the one who is taking action."


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