Commemorative Hartford Whalers license place to support children’s dialysis center

 A sample of the license plate Connecticut residents may now purchase to support Connecticut Children's Medical Center (Sample courtesy of Connecticut Children's Medical Center).

A sample of the license plate Connecticut residents may now purchase to support Connecticut Children's Medical Center (Sample courtesy of Connecticut Children's Medical Center).

Connecticut residents will now be able to purchase license plates featuring the former Hartford Whalers logo that support Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s future Infusion and Dialysis Center.

Remaking a plate to include a Whalers logo costs $60, $45 of which will support the Hartford medical center’s efforts to build a new pediatric dialysis unit, according to a press release by the Department of Motor Vehicles and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

“Children needing dialysis must receive treatment in adult facilities without pediatric providers even though their needs are different from those of adults,” the press release said. “In the last few years, there has been an exponential growth in the survival of children with end stage renal disease, requiring extensive, long-term dialysis. This proposed center would be of tremendous value to these children.”

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and other state officials recently announced the commemorative plate, and Gov. Dannel Malloy signed legislation to make it available in the 2017 legislative session.

“This is a win-win for Connecticut,” Malloy said in the press release. “Whalers fans came together in large numbers to support this initiative, and I am proud that they will have a new way to support their team while helping kids access lifesaving care.”

Jim Shmerling, president and CEO of Connecticut Children’s, said the hospital is honored to be selected as the beneficiary of the plate.

“This plate has been sought after for many years, and we are thrilled it will also help support the lifesaving care Connecticut Children’s experts provide to so many kids across the state and region,” Shmerling said.

DMV commissioner Michael Bzdyra said the plate promotes a worthy cause that affects many children each year.

“The Whalers plate on a car will mean the legend lives on saving children,” Bzdyra said.

The number of children needing one to eight hour long dialysis infusions has increased significantly in recent years, the press release said. The space currently being used at Connecticut Children’s was designed over 15 years ago when total infusion numbers were less than 20 percent of what they are now.

“The Whalers brought fans together in the capital city and continue to have a large and growing following in Hartford and across Connecticut,” House Majority Leader Matt Ritter said. “This commemorative plate will give back to these loyal fans and will also generate funding that will benefit Connecticut Children’s.”

An application for the license plate can be found at http://www.ct.gov/dmv/lib/dmv/M-22.pdf.


Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.