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Louisa woman designs license plate for Alzheimer’s awareness

Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Katy Reed, with the help of a friend, designed a license plate to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease. After 1,000 plates are sold, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will begin to donate $15 of the $25 fee for the specialty license plate to the Alzheimer’s Association.

After discovering that the Department of Motor Vehicles did not have a license plate for Alzheimer’s awareness, a local woman has taken it upon herself to design one for them.

Katy Reed, with her grandmother, Leah, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and is the inspiration that leads her granddaughter to campaign for awareness of the disease.

Katy Reed, who recently moved to Louisa with her son, Keeton, said that with the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease and the number of people who have been impacted by it, she was appalled to find out that there wasn’t a license plate available to support the cause.

“I’ve always thought there should be an Alzheimer’s plate available, and there never was,” Reed said. “And mom always taught me if you want something done, to do it yourself. And that’s what I did.”

Reed is an administrator at English Meadows, an assisted living community in Louisa. She said that her crusade began in March, while attending a Virginia Assisted Living Association (VALA) conference, where she brought up the idea to her peers in the industry.

With their blessing, she researched the regulations and specifications concerning license plates, and with help from a friend, she ultimately achieved the current design. A deep shade of purple lines the bottom of the plate, which is the color for Alzheimer’s Awareness, and a floral design of blue forget-me-nots decorates the left side.

Once she had settled on the design, the most difficult part of the process could begin. She reached out to her contact at DMV to ensure that her design met the specifications required by the state agency for a proposed revenue-sharing license plate.

The next step in the process was to have a member of the Virginia Senate sponsor the design so that it made it to the governor’s desk for final approval. Thanks to another mutual friend, Sen. Amanda Chase, of Virginia’s 11th District, agreed to sponsor the plate design. Finally, when all the previous hoops had been jumped through, she was left with the most challenging part of the process, and the point at which most designs for new license plates stall: she was required by the DMV to obtain 450 pre-orders before they would begin manufacturing and issuing the plate, a requirement which was met just last week.