Vroom Vroom, Diabetes
A new license plate is available in Indiana starting in 2011, recognizing the American Diabetes Association's Stop Diabetes movement and one of the 11 speciality non-profit recognition plates the state legislature created in the past year.
Available to motorists for $40, the plate cost includes $25 that is a tax-deductible donation for the ADA. It doesn't replace the juvenile diabetes plate that's available in some but not all spots in Indiana, but is the only D-plate offered and recognized statewide. This new plate is the first of its kind in the country and other states hope to follow suit, according to the ADA's Indiana spokeswoman Joy Mahoney.
Money raised from this plate will be used to fuel the ADA and Stop Diabetes movement here in Indiana, specifically for education and programming to serve people with diabetes, healthcare professionals, caregivers, and the public. Not to mention all of the organization's other research and advocacy efforts.
You can see the official state BMV page and plate details here.
So, we decided to help out the new plate promotion effort at the Indianapolis Auto Show recently. This basically involved spending some time on New Year's Eve at an ADA table setup inside the auto show, held in the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Hundreds of new model and concept cars from dozens of dealers, and a new license plate for a good cause to complete those new vehicles!
Both Suzi and I had the day off work, so we volunteered our time and energy. Plus, we got free tickets to the Auto Show - a bonus, indeed.
We had a great time. Our fellow table-watcher and advocate was a fellow Type 1 diagnosed 46 years ago, and it was great being able to meet and talk with him about so many D-topics. A handful of people came by the table during the three hour shift, from a newly-diagnosed Type 1 to some others with personal or family connections to diabetes. Sure, many weren't interested and walked by without much of a look or interest in the plate or cause. It might have helped having some attention-grabbing show or performance nearby, such as a live shoot of a new SugaSheen music video nearby where we could then hand out some ADA license plate info. But we didn't have that, and I think we did our best to spread the good word as much as possible to those passerbys.
Outside of advocating, we enjoyed the Auto Show. Now, being from Detroit that's home to the North American International Auto Show each year, we know what a real auto show is all about. I've gone to a handful through the years before moving to Indiana, both as a newspaper reporter covering the event to just a spectator and potential consumer checking out the latest cars and automotive creations. This was a great effort and showing here in Indianapolis, but we kind of viewed as a cute little event compared to the one with thousands of cars and incredible performances inside a much larger venue in D-Town. We kind of felt like patting the Hoosier event organizers on the head and saying, "Awww, Indy, how cute." Like a little bridge across a stream trying to compete with the Golden Gate. The little engine that could, so to speak. Size and scope, that is. Historically, Indy has been around for 97 years while the international one is in its 23rd year.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great show in Indy and we had a great time. More than 400 cars and about 40 car makers. We indulged in our fantasies of what would be fun to drive: an extended cab pickup truck that Suzi had her nostalgic eye on with memories of her former S-10 truck, or the Mustang convertables or crazy XBox video game green and black truck that had DeLorean doors and a big screen hitch-hookup on the backside. Ford had a robot named Hank setup for a great funny show at the top of every hour, and we also signed up for a test drive opportunity in the next couple months. Overall, we had a great time.
If we ever do indulge in fantasyland video-vehicle buying, at least we'll have a license plate for a great cause to compliment our new ride! In the meantime, we'll keep this option in mind next time our plate renewals come up. Maybe you can too, or even push your own local ADA or D-organization to advocate for a similiar plate!