Washington Apple Education Foundation Announces Successful First Year for Specialty License Plates
- by Lilian Diep
WENATCHEE, WA - As I drive throughout California, I always admire the creative elements that other state’s license plates showcase. That feeling was only magnified when I learned of Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF)’s ingenious take on advertising, using license plates to market one of their top exports—Washington apples.
First approved by the state legislature in March of 2020, the plates became available to Washington drivers on July 1, 2020. As of June 30, 2021, a total of 747 license plates were purchased. Featuring a deep blue backdrop and the iconic Washington Apple Commission logo on the side, the plates have the statement “World’s Finest Apples” along the bottom.
Funds from the specialty plate sales benefit students in central Washington’s tree fruit growing communities. According to WAEF’s release, $28 from each plate benefits college-bound students through the organization. The foundation is on track to sell 1,000 plates by the end of this calendar year. WAEF annually awards over $1 million in scholarships to students with family ties to the tree fruit industry.
With current sales, the plates will provide about $20,000 in revenue for WAEF students and programs annually, noted the release. In addition to scholarships, the foundation provides professional development, career exploration, and mentorship for its scholarship recipients. Currently, WAEF serves about 300–350 students annually.
The Washington Apple Education Foundation is a charity for the tree fruit industry. Its mission is to impact lives through access to educational opportunities. The foundation is funded through voluntary donations from industry and community members.
Thinking of California, we could easily put grapes, leafy greens, almonds, and a plethora of other fresh produce onto our plates. Will we take a page from the association’s book to further market fruits and veg in more places? We here at ANUK will eagerly report.