WASHINGTON--The Land of Lincoln is joining the crowd making a buck off the popular son of Illinois, President Obama. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is selling Obama plates--good only for 60 days--for $50 a pair.
The Illinois Library Association will use the profits to help fund materials for library run summer reading programs for students.
In the first wave, the plates will be sold only to people from Illinois who have autos. For people who don't have cars--no matter where they live-- the souvenir plates can be purchased for $50 after April 17.
Summer reading programs help kids retain reading and learning skills while on vacation.
A tax deduction of $35 can be taken as a contribution to the library association.
It costs about $5 to make the plate; $5 to mail and $2 for credit card charges. Rights to use the Obama photo cost about $650, according to the ILA.
below, release from White's office......
Jesse White and ILA Unveil Temporary Special Event
President Barack Obama License Plate
Proceeds to Benefit Illinois Libraries and iRead Program
Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois Library Association (ILA) announced today the availability of an official President Barack Obama special event Illinois license plate.
The plates, which are temporary and good for 60 days, are available for purchase at www.ila.org/obama for $50 a pair. Proceeds will help support the association's activities including iREAD, the summer reading program for Illinois youth.
The election of President Barack Obama represents a historic moment for our state. These plates will commemorate and celebrate the election of our nation's first African-American president. The proceeds will benefit libraries, referred to by President Obama as "our windows to a larger world."
"ILA is delighted to partner with our State Librarian in this wonderful opportunity," said ILA President Donna Dziedzic. "Libraries are more important than ever in this period of economic instability and more and more people are using them every day. The library community is extremely grateful that Jesse White recognizes the value libraries provide to their communities every day."
"Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities," said Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White. "I initiated this special event plate with the ILA to help benefit Illinois libraries as well as to honor the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama. I am committed to working with libraries across the state to help them serve their patrons and communities at the highest level. The iREAD program represents an important effort to encourage our young people to read."
In 2005, the then U.S. Senator Obama keynoted the opening general session of the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago. He praised librarians as guardians of truth and knowledge, and thanked them for their role as champions of privacy, literacy, independent thinking, and most of all reading.
The special event license plates, which read "Illinois Salutes President Barack Obama," are unique commemorative plates to be displayed on Illinois vehicles for 60 days, beginning February 17 and ending April 17, 2009. After this date, the Obama license plate will be available for purchase to everyone nationwide to add to his or her Obama collections.
The plates will be sold at the Chicago Auto Show, February 13-21, 2009 at McCormick Place, 2301 South Martin Luther King Drive and are also available at www.ila.org/obama for $50.
The Special Event License Plate program was established in 1980. Special event license plates are a unique promotional device available to organizations by the Illinois Secretary of State's Office to promote various interests of Illinois citizens. Upon approval by the Secretary of State's Office, organizations may design license plates to be displayed on vehicles for sixty days. For additional information on the Special Event License Plate program, visit the Secretary of State's Web site at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.