LONDON – Giving youth hope for a better tomorrow by raising awareness and support for anti-drug efforts across Kentucky is the goal of a new specialty license plate, said Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers.
Speaking at a ceremony to unveil the plate’s design on Monday, July 16, Rogers noted motorists now have an opportunity to proclaim the message: “Keep Kids Drug-Free.”
“Our goal is to sell so many license plates that every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle you are bombarded with the message that our youth are the most important thing to focus on,” Rogers said. “When we focus on our youth, we will begin to witness real change. There’s no better time to begin than right now.”
Jessica Whitehouse, a 17-year-old senior at Muhlenberg North High School, created the winning design for the new “Keep Kids Drug-Free” specialty license plate, which features crayons and a paintbrush on a bright yellow background. Her design, chosen from among 496 entries in a state-wide contest open to all K-12 students.
The contest was sponsored by Operation UNITE, WestCare Kentucky and the Children’s Alliance as a way to raise awareness of substance abuse issues. If at least 900 license plates are pre-ordered, Whitehouse’s artwork will appear on license plates across the commonwealth sometime around Red Ribbon Week in October.
Monday’s ceremony included a short video of youth speaking about their struggles to overcome drug addition.
“It’s a grim reminder of the suffering that is taking place each and every day right under our noses,” Rogers said. “As a community, it is incumbent upon us to do everything in our power to give young people reasons not to use drugs, so when they are confronted with that important life-changing decision they are armed with the truth about drugs.”
Each license plate sells for $38. Of this amount, $28 is paid to the state and $10 is a tax-deductible donation that will be equally divided among the three sponsoring organizations to promote substance abuse prevention, treatment and education programs to Kentucky’s youth. By state statute, none of the proceeds can be used for administrative or personnel costs.
As an incentive, everyone pre-ordering the anti-drug specialty plate by Friday, August 31, will be entered into a drawing for a four-day, three-night cruise for two adults and two children, donated by Capitol Marketing Concepts of St. Petersburg, Florida. No employee or family member of the three sponsoring agencies is eligible to win the cruise.
Applications to order the special license plates can be downloaded from each agency’s website: Operation UNITE http://www.operationunite.org, WestCare Kentucky http://www.westcare.com, or Children’s Alliance http://www.childrensallianceky.org. The application may be returned with payment to any of these agencies.
“We have to stop this madness” of drug use among youth, Rogers said. “It’s simply not enough to hear their stories and feel sorry for them. We have to become involved in the solution so we don’t continue to lose our future to this poison.”
For additional information about the license plate contact:
• Elizabeth Wilson, Operation UNITE, at 1-606-330-1413
• Renee Alexander, WestCare Kentucky, at 1-606-726-0385
• Bart Baldwin, Children’s Alliance, at 1-502-875-3399