By Mikayla Lewis, FOX17 Nashville –
You see license plates supporting various causes, and now one mid-state group is creating one for lives taken too soon by crime.
Tennessee Voices for Victims is a non-profit that advocates for crime survivors and victims. Now, they’re trying to connect more people in a unique way with the #RememberMovement specialty license plate.
Life is full of obstacles along the road. The journey for Gail Chilton came to a halt with daughter, Melissa murdered two decades ago. Now, the accused killer is approaching trial.
Chilton says, “We’re going to court in January and she was murdered with another girl named Tiffany Campbell and I have fought for justice all these years.”
While Chilton looks ahead to justice, she’s tackling something else in the rearview.
“To get a license plate with her name on it, I wanted to do that 20 years ago,” explains Chilton.
TVFV co-founder, Verna Wyatt says it’s the first of its kind.
Wyatt says, “And to my knowledge, it will be the only one in the nation…My sister-in-law that was sexually assaulted and murdered. She was loved and she’s remembered and it’s that special reminder to me that she existed, special and still a part of my heart.”
Co-founder Valerie Craig adds, “It’s really meant for anybody that’s experienced some sort of loss, whether it’s cancer, suicide, someone serving our military. You think about these church shootings, or Las Vegas, something that people recognize that there has been an impact and need remembrance.”
Craig says local artist, Phil Ponder designed the plate that costs $31 and helps the non-profit continue its efforts.
Each plate is $31. The $31 pays for the specialty plate to be printed. After the first 1,000 are sold the plate will be printed and you will be notified by your county to pick it up. When you go to your county office, you will then pay the normal license plate fees and taxes. Though these plates are for Tennessee residents only, they may be purchased as a gift for someone who lives in Tennessee.
The plates are available for a limited time to order the first round. After the first 1,000 are sold, TVFV says the plates can be personalized, something Chilton looks forward to as a survivor and volunteer.
“I’ll have Melissa’s name on my car forever, it’s not going to be a sad thing. It will be a wonderful thing because at the same time I am helping an organization that helps other crime victims,” she says.