Merrill Ann Culverhouse, Blount County’s Miss Outstanding Teen for 2015, has secured development for a specialty license plate promoting colon cancer awareness and screenings in Alabama. The project has both a personal and an institutional tie-in. The personal one is an emotional one: she advocates on behalf of her dad, Merrill, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013 – and other survivors like him – to lobby for increased awareness and funding for the disease. The institutional one is to provide a social service platform in connection with her continuing participation in the Miss Teen Alabama Program. After several months of research, planning, and partnering with an established colon cancer nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness, support, and funding for patients and their families in Alabama, she submitted a license plate design for approval to the state. It was approved, and she now has one year to secure 1,000 pre-commitments before the tag is authorized for production and use on Alabama highways. To ‘Get Behind a Cure’ – the appeal’s theme – you can purchase a tag now.
• Go to precommit.mvtrip.alabama.gov
• $50 initial fee and $50 renewal fee each year
• $41.25 from purchase proceeds go to emotional and financial support of colon cancer patients and their families (through the Alabama nonprofit Rumpshaker Inc.)
‘I wanted to come up with a permanent source of funding in the the form of a statewide specialty license plate to promote colon cancer awareness, raise funds to fight and treat it, and provide hope for those affected by the disease,’ Merrill Ann said.