A company which has several billboards around Cookeville has now been recognized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for using billboard technology to promote safety on Center Hill Lake. The Corps held a recognition ceremony at the Cookeville offices of Lamar Advertising on Wednesday. They say thousands of LEDs -- or light-emitting diodes -- illuminated water safety messages on digital billboards in the vicinity of Center Hill Lake during the recreation season last year. The free public service announcements highlighted the "Wear It" Life Jacket Campaign. The Corps' Water Safety Group Award for 2010 was presented to Ron Graves, the general manager of Lamar Advertising.
During the award ceremony, Diane Parks, Nashville District chief of operations, noted that Lamar Advertising displayed the water safety messages during National Safe Boating Week in May 2010 on four separate state-of-the-art digital billboards located in some of the highest volume traffic areas in Cookeville and McMinnville. The messages were also displayed during other peak visitation periods throughout the summer, including holiday weekends. She said it is estimated that the public viewed the digital messages 100,000 times per day.Graves accepted the award on behalf of the company and its employees, and commented afterward on the company's decision to support the "Wear It" Life Jacket Campaign.
"Just about everybody that works here is into boating and fishing, and spends some time on the lake," Graves said. "We're part of this community. It's something we can do to kind of give back a little. A little of it is about business, but more of it is about quality of life for the people we serve and our employees. To be able to help out with a safety message such as this has a big impact. I can remember when we first moved to this area and the first time we went out to Center Hill Lake. It had a sign down there where it showed how many people drowned in the lake and how many drowned without a life jacket. It was amazing. So it's good to be a part of the [water safety] program."