published Monday, May 7th, 2012

Tennessee license plate to support veterans nursing home

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    Pre-sales of veteran license plates help raise funds for the Montgomery and Bradley County state veterans homes.

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TO PRE-ORDER

Checks may be sent to the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council, 155 Ocoee St., Room 1, Cleveland, TN 37311, and should include name, address, county, phone number, email address and number of plates. Orders also may be made at the Bradley County Veterans Affairs Office at the courthouse.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Tennessee motorists soon may be able to show their support on the road for new veterans nursing homes.

Pre-orders for a specialty plate are on sale now to raise funds in support of nursing homes in Bradley and Montgomery counties.

The plate shows silhouettes of two people saluting an American flag with the state name in script across the top, crossed U.S. and Tennessee flags to the left of the plate number and the words "Proudly Supporting Those Who Served" across the bottom.

"They won't go into production until we have sold a thousand," said Joe Davis, veterans service officer for the Bradley County Veterans Affairs Office.

Purchasers do not have to be veterans. The $35 fee is in addition to the annual vehicle registration cost and does not apply to wheel taxes or other county fees.

Half the money raised from plate sales will support the two nursing homes, said Larry McDaris, director of the Bradley County Veterans Affairs office. Of the rest, 40 percent will go to Tennessee arts programs and 10 percent to the Tennessee Highway Fund.

The orders are needed by July 1.

"If the plates are not manufactured, the money will be returned," McDaris said.

While the local veterans home council continues to wait for federal funding for construction to be added to a local anonymous donation and money already raised by the community, there will be continuing operations costs once the home is built, McDaris said.

The site for the home, off APD 40, recently was donated, too.

Davis will have a booth at the third annual "Boogie At The Barn" May 19 to take license plate pre-orders, as well.

Confederate Railroad is the headliner for this year's veterans nursing home fundraiser, held at Pappy's Place, 185 Morgan Road NW, in Charleston, Tenn. Gates open at noon. A list of entertainers and sponsors are at the concert website, www.boogieatthebarn.com or www.facebook.com/boogieatthebarn.

Contact staff writer Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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