By Jerry Cornfield Herald writer
Just in time for the playoffs, Seattle Seahawk fans are getting a new place to hang the 12th Man flag every day — the license plate of their cars, trucks, trailers and motorcycles.
Starting today wwwspecially designed plates featuring the professional football team’s logo and the fan base’s emblematic flag can be ordered throughout the state.
Unless you’re like season ticket holder and lifetime fan Kevin Luschei. The Everett man in November snagged one of the first plates that will be produced by inmates at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.
He’s getting his plate — the sixth one made, 00006 — after submitting a winning bid of $2,006 in an online auction conducted by a nonprofit that serves students statewide.
“I’m just passionate about Seahawk football,” explained Luschei, who cheers from an aisle seat on the 44-yard line in the C-Link.
It didn’t come without a bit of a tussle. When bidding hit the $2,000 mark, the 51-year-old senior engineering manager at Boeing said he decided to go $6 higher – partly because 2006 is when the Seahawks last went to the Super Bowl.
Proceeds from the auction and future plate sales will go to InvestED, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides students in need with things like athletic fees, choir robes, eyeglasses, or graduation expenses. In 2012, InvestED helped 18,213 students in 661 schools.
Luschei knew his enthusiasm for the Seahawks will pay dividends in classrooms.
“I’m passionate about this team and I am investing in education because I care about the children of Washington,” he said.
Also today, fans of the Seattle Sounders FC can order license plates bearing the logo of the soccer franchise.
A law signed in May paved the way for both specialty plates. Money generated from Sounder plates sales will go to the Washington State Mentors and the Association of Washington Generals, which promotes volunteerism and public service.
Both special license plates can be ordered through the mail from the state Department of Licensing by sending in an application, along with a check or money order. They also can be ordered in person at a county auditor’s office or vehicle licensing office. You cannot buy them online.
License plates ordered today will be mailed out starting Friday.
In most cases, a set of plates will cost $67.75 for passenger vehicles, $49.75 for motorcycles and small trailers, and $55.75 for a large trailer. This does not include any sub-agent or renewal fees that may be required.
The amount includes a $40 special license plate fee, of which $28 goes to the sponsoring organization. Renewals will cost $30 with almost all of it going to the nonprofits.
“We encourage people to support their local teams and help some kids at the same time,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who proposed the legislation.
No proceeds go to the Seahawks or Sounders organizations.
Under the law, nonprofit groups benefiting from the sales are allowed to distribute the first 25 plates in they manner they wish. InvestED reserved 00001 for the Seahawks and auctioned off the next 24 plates.
The weeklong auction in November raised $109,483. Not surprisingly, the single largest bid of $42,299 went for the ultimate 12th Man plate — 00012.
With Seahawk frenzy gripping the state, the organization stands to receive a windfall of financial support in the near future.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” InvestED Executive Director Deborah Cushing said of the approaching playoffs.
Jerry Cornfield; 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org