Breast cancer plate marks 10 years, $3 million raised
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced Oct. 1 the 10-year anniversary of the initial release of Maine Breast Cancer Support specialty license plate, which raises funds to combat breast cancer in Maine.
The plates were first made available to the public on Oct. 1, 2008. There are 25,002 of the “pink ribbon” plates on the road, which have raised $3,141,385, with more than $2,950,047 going to the Breast Cancer Support Services Fund over the past 10 years.
“I am proud that the State of Maine has been a leader in the fight against breast cancer,” Dunlap said in a press release. “It’s nearly impossible to find someone whose life has not been touched by cancer, whether they’ve experienced it personally or through the journey of a family member, friend or coworker. And that’s probably why this plate is so popular.”
He said, “The pink ribbon license plates have allowed Mainers in every community to make their voice heard and to contribute to this ongoing battle. The funds raised by these plates make a difference in people’s lives throughout the state.”
The Breast Cancer Support Services Fund, administered by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is equally distributed to the Maine Breast and Cervical Health Program within the CDC, which provides breast and cervical cancer screening and follow-up services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women; the Maine Cancer Foundation, an independent organization dedicated to reducing cancer incidence and mortality rates in Maine; and the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition’s Support Service Fund, dedicated to providing financial support to underserved people with breast cancer needs.
“The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is proud to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Maine breast cancer license plates,” said Bethany Zell of Caribou, president, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition.
“These annual proceeds have provided us with the resources to help Maine residents living with and at risk of breast cancer with direct financial assistance for their uncovered treatment, travel and other qualifying breast health or breast cancer related needs.”
“The establishment of the State’s Breast Cancer Awareness License Plate has provided Maine CDC funding to support more than 4,700 Maine women in receiving breast mammograms,” said Scott Lever, Maine DHHS deputy commissioner of Health Services.
“While breast cancer is not preventable, early detection is the best protection. To celebrate this 10th anniversary of the “pink” specialty license plate, Maine CDC encourages women to speak with their healthcare providers about routine screenings for breast cancer,” Lever said.
“Maine Cancer Foundation is extremely grateful for the success of the breast cancer awareness license plate, and the reliable income it provides to help in our mission to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer across the state,” said Tara Hill, executive director of Maine Cancer Foundation.
The plate resulted from legislative action during the 123rd Legislature by then-Representative Meredith Strang Burgess from Cumberland, who is a breast cancer survivor as well.
“I am thrilled to see so many plates all over Maine, but especially happy to see the financial benefits that have been generated and used by the beneficiary organizations, all of which are based here in Maine. Thank you to everyone who has a Breast Cancer plate on your car,” said Strang Burgess.
The Breast Cancer Support specialty license plates can be purchased at all Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicle Branch Offices, at many town offices or online at: https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/registration/bcplate.html . The initial plate fee is $20 in addition to the regular registration fee when first purchasing the plates. Each renewal is an additional $15.