Josh the Otter license plates hitting the road in 2022
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln nonprofit Josh the Otter is ringing in the new year with new Josh the Otter license plates that will raise awareness for water safety across the state.
It’s all to honor Joshua Collingsworth. 13 years ago, 3-year-old Joshua Collingsworth drowned in a backyard pool. His parents learned later that drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death in children have dedicated their lives to raising awareness about child drowning.
The Collingsworths have created life jacket stations at local lakes, host swimming lessons and have even created a children’s book.
“We hope someday Josh is like Smokey the Bear,” said Blake Collingsworth, Joshua’s dad. “You see Smokey and understand it’s to prevent forest fires, we wanted to create a character that when you see that you think about water safety.”
Starting on January 1st, 2022, you can be a part of spreading awareness with a Josh the Otter license plate.
“It’s very exciting. We really appreciate Suzanne Geist for sponsoring it and all of the work she went through to get it through the transportation committee,” said Collingsworth.
The benefit of the license plate is two-fold. It serves as a reminder to teach children about water safety and the importance of having an adult present while enjoying the water. It also generates money that will go to Nebraska Game and Parks. The plate costs $5 and to personalize it costs $40.
“They’ll distribute it back to us and we’ll use it to build more life jacket loaner stations,” said Collingsworth. “It’ll go toward swimming lessons and educational materials for children.”
Currently there are life jacket loaner stations at Pawnee and Branched Oak Lake, and expanding to Wagon Train Lake in 2022.
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