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Rogers says specialty license plate is ‘grim reminder’ of drug problem




This specialty license plate, unveiled Monday, may be on sale in Kentucky by October.

This specialty license plate, unveiled Monday, may be on sale in Kentucky by October.

Officials unveiled a new specialty license plate this week that will remind travelers of the need to “Keep Kids Drug-Free.”

That’s the slogan on the new plate introduced Monday by Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers during a ceremony in London.

“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 plate, which features crayons and a paintbrush on a bright yellow background. Her design was 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.

The new

The new “Keep Kids Drug-Free” license plate design was unveiled in London by (from left) UNITE President and CEO Karen Engle, Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers, WestCare Kentucky Vice President Jenifer Noland, Children’s Alliance representative Melissa Muse, and former University of Kentucky basketball star Jeff Sheppard.

This week’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 lifechanging 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, Fla. 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

• 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 (606) 330-1413.

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