IAHS debuts new fundraising car tag

A display shows the proposed design of a new IAHS license plate, for which the school began taking orders this week. Supporters of the school have until mid-October to order the plate, which will go into production should 300 or more be sold. (Photo by Adam Armour)

A display shows the proposed design of a new IAHS license plate, for which the school began taking orders this week. Supporters of the school have until mid-October to order the plate, which will go into production should 300 or more be sold. (Photo by Adam Armour)

Fulton drivers will have opportunity to display their school pride with IAHS-themed license plates … should enough of them be sold.

The proposed tag design features the familiar IAHS Indian chief logo to the left of the tag number. Running across the bottom of the plate in bold lettering are the words, “We are Itawamba!”

The tag is being sold through the school as a fundraiser to help offset the expenses of activities that don’t generate a lot of revenue. While a sport like football can bring in a lot of funds through ticket and T-shirt sales, the scholar’s bowl, swim, archery and similar teams do not. But they still have plenty of expenses associated with them.

As an example, IAHS Principal Trae Wiygul said it costs the school approximately $3,000 each year to rent a pool for the swimming team. Drivers who purchase the new tag will help the school pay for that.

The plates cost $31 above the standard rate of the driver’s tag (for example, if a driver normally pays $50 to renew his car tag, he’ll pay $81 for the specialty tag). Of that extra cost, $24 will go to benefit the school.

The school has an initial goal of selling 300 plates. If they do, it’ll be mean $7,200 for school programs.

“This gives our supporters an item to show their pride in their school and gives a little back to the kids, too,” he said.

But the tags aren’t a done deal. Not yet, at least. That 300 tag goal is a requirement before the state will print them. The school has until Oct. 15 to pre-sell all 300 tags. Tags purchased now should be ready by December.

“We basically have a month to get this show on the road,” Wiygul said.

If the school doesn’t meet the 300 tag goal this year, Wiygul said they will try again in the spring.

The school will need to sell at least 300 tags each year to keep it in circulation.

The idea of creating a specialty car tag isn’t new. Local drivers have likely seen plenty of Ole Miss and MSU tags out on the road. That’s what gave school officials the idea in the first place.

“We noticed several schools that had these kinds of tags as a way to show off their school pride,” Wiygul explained.

Wiygul said a lot of school districts pull together to create a district-wide tag, but he believed IAHS can generate the necessary support on its own.

The process of getting a specialty tag approved is a lengthy one and requires approval of the House of Representatives. Wiygul said the school has been discussing the project for more than a year, even going so far as to conduct a survey of school parents to see if there would be enough interest in the tags to warrant going through the process. He said more than 200 people responded that they would be interested in the tag. That was enough to move forward with the process.

Wiygul said he’s looking forward to the day he’s driving through Fulton and spotting tag after tag featuring the school’s stone-faced mascot.

“I think it’s pretty cool to drive through a school district and see car tags for an area school,” Wiygul said.

He’s getting two himself, he added.

How do I get my tag?

The school needs a bit of information (and money) to ready your car tag. There’s a form to fill out at itawambaahs.com, and the school will need a $31 payment to cover the cost of the tag. After the school meets its pre-sell goal, the tags will be printed and shipped to the county tax collector’s office. The school will notify people who purchased a tag, which will need to be picked up within 60 days.

About Adam Armour

Adam Armour has been writing and taking photographs for "The Itawamba County Times" since 2005. His words and pictures have earned 18 Mississippi Press Association Awards, including several "Best of" category recognitions. He has written and independently published one novel and is currently working on a second.

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