Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Tennessee is in danger of losing a key funding piece that matches funds and enables MADD Tennessee to offer free victim services, officials said.
The group said nationwide, more than 10,000 people are killed - and another 345,000 people are injured - in drunk driving crashes each year.
“Our MADD Tennessee license plates are rolling billboards raising awareness about drunk driving, in addition to raising thousands of dollars to help MADD’s efforts in Tennessee,” noted volunteer Norris Skelley of Cookeville.
Mr. Norris and his wife, Aline, were two of the chief volunteers who campaigned to create and produce the MADD Tennessee plate, which went into production in 1997.
If MADD Tennessee fails to maintain a minimum of 500 plates in circulation by June 30, the plate will be retired and the organization will lose more than $15,000 of annual funding, as well as the awareness that it creates. Currently, MADD Tennessee needs approximately 70 new plates to be purchased. The MADD plate costs $35, with $30.75 going towards the group's efforts to make Tennessee roadways safer.
MADD volunteers are "urging concerned citizens across the state to step forward and make a MADD dash to their county clerk’s office to purchase a plate that will support MADD Tennessee’s work to save lives and support victims."
State Executive Director Flint Clouse said, “I am very thankful to our faithful Tennessee volunteers and supporters who made the license plate initiative possible and who are now reaching out to their family and friends to keep the MADD Tennessee plate. Their dedication is inspiring.”
Only 24 Hamilton County registrants have “MADD” tags.