Tuesday, January 07, 2014

TOP STORY >> ‘Rock and Role’ license plates

Leader staff writer

A new state-issued license plate was unveiled Monday to spread word of the “Rock and Role” branding partnership between Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville and the LRAFB Community Council.

Proceeds from the license plates will go directly to fund scholarships and community welfare projects provided by the Little Rock Spouses’ Club, an organization that serves the spouses of military personnel on LRAFB.

“It’s not for operations; it’s for us to give back,” Little Rock Spouses’ Club president Berri Dunn said.

According to Roger Duren, administrator for the Office of Motor Vehicles, the “Rock and Role” design was submitted on Dec. 22 so that sample license plates could be made. The sample plates will be sent to the base, the community council, the State Police and the Department of Revenue for approval.

After the sample plate is approved, it will be sent back to the license plate factory so that larger-scale production can begin. Duren said that process takes six to eight weeks.

The annual cost for the “Rock and Role” specialty plate is the state’s registration fee plus a $25 fundraising fee and a $10 administration fee.

On hand for the unveiling at the LRAFB University Center were Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Little Rock), state Rep. Mark Perry (D-Jacksonville), community council members, Little Rock Spouses’ Club members and air base leaders.

Griffin said the branding and the concept of “Rock and Role” could be taken all over the state on a license plate. It is telling the world about LRAFB and its community support, he said.

According to Dunn, the Spouses’ Club gave a total of $10,000 in scholarships last year to seven high school seniors from Air Force families, and two scholarships were to spouses.

Shayne Nichols, Spouses’ Club welfare and giving coordinator, said the organization gave $10,135 in grants to local schools.

The funds supplied new tables for North Pulaski High School administrators, microscopes for science classes and iPods for the Spanish department, she said. At Arnold Drive Elementary, the funding helped remodel the school’s cafeteria.

The Spouses’ Club also helped fund the summer reading program at Ward Central Elementary and bought benches for Cabot Middle School North. The club helped Mountain Springs Elementary, Northside Elementary and Cabot Junior High North with grants for iPads, books and physical education equipment.

Nichols said, over the last four years, the Spouses’ Club has given funding to all schools in the Cabot School District.

The Spouses’ Club also gave $4,000 in welfare grants to the transition assistance programs, the Air Force Village, the Air Force Enlisted Village, the USO and Fishnet Missions in Jacksonville, where the money was used repair a refrigerator and air conditioning at the food pantry.