2012 Crusade ready to roll

2012 Crusade ready to roll

Louisville Triple Crown of Running’s record donation

In celebration of the 59th Annual WHAS Crusade for Children on June 2-3, the Louisville Triple Crown of Running TM will donate a record $171,862 to improve the lives of special needs children. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE LOUISVILLE TRIPLE CROWN OF RUNNING! Special thanks to Anthem, Rodes and Papa Johns for the tireless support

Kroger managers gather for a BIG donation to the Crusade

The Crusade’s long standing partnership with Kroger continues with an amazing amount of money raised by the grocery giant! Thanks to Kroger, its employees and customers. Let’s go Krogering!

GE hits a milestone

GE employees continue a 31-year tradition of giving to help children with special needs. This year’s $50,000 check puts GE over $3 million total to the Crusade the Children!

(The following article appeared in the Courier-Journal May 28, 2012)

Annual Crusade for Children is still going strong for kids after 59 years

Telethon remains vital for kids with disabilities
Written by
Matt Frassica
The Courier-Journal

When the WHAS Crusade for Children kicks off its telethon Saturday, it will mark its 59th year raising money for kids with special needs in Kentuckiana. Last year, the Crusade raised $5.3 million.

One organization, the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies, has been associated with the Crusade from the beginning — from before the beginning, actually.

WHAS staged telethons for the fledgling Kids Center in 1952 and 1953, before expanding the effort to the community-wide Crusade for Children in 1954. “I guess our history with the Crusade goes back prior to the Crusade,” said Dave Ramer, executive director of the center.

Founded in 1952, the Kids Center provides physical, occupational and speech therapy for about 700 children with developmental delays and disabilities, focusing on those under age 6.

Their patients include children with cerebral palsy like Suhar Alhumaidi, a 6-year-old girl who was working with her occupational therapist, Ann Flint, on a recent afternoon. Sitting in a wheelchair, Suhar concentrated on drawing geometric shapes with an orange marker.

Flint described the progress Suhar had made since beginning therapy at the center about two years ago. At the time, she couldn’t feed herself. “At first, we were working literally on getting a spoon to her mouth,” Flint said. Getting Suhar to dress herself, too, was “very, very hard with her movement problems.”

Now, Suhar was exercising fine motor control to sketch rectangles, having graduated from crosses the week before. She and her mother come in every Thursday afternoon for three hours, and continue practicing the therapies at home — like putting on clothes and drawing shapes.

“We encourage parents to participate because they learn from the therapy sessions as well,” Ramer said.

The Kids Center occupies 16,000 square feet on the Tudor-style campus of Kosair Charities on Eastern Parkway. Its brightly colored halls are decorated with waterside imagery like waves and cat-tails. Ramer estimated that the Crusade had donated more than $650,000 to the Kids Center over the years, with an average yearly grant of $10,000.

“Every nook and corner you go through here, the Crusade had something to do with,” Ramer said.

One such area, called the Activities for Daily Living suite, was dedicated at the end of February. The $80,000 project, funded in part by the Crusade, turned several little-used rooms into a simulated apartment with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Patients practice everyday skills like doing laundry, making a bed and preparing food in the suite. A flat-screen TV equipped with a Wii lets patients practice movement through video games.

Linda Boice, an occupational therapist, pointed out a large rubber band that allowed kids with limited motor control to open the kitchen’s refrigerator door. “If we can see what they can’t do, we can make the adaptations (here),” Boice said. Kitchen utensils with special grips make it possible for patients to prepare and eat their own food at the center.

Down the hall, an indoor playground with a swing, slide and climbing wall help get kids acclimated to different types of movement. “We can show them that they can do it, and then they can go out and be more confident on the playground,” Boice said. The Crusade for Children helped build both the indoor playground and an outdoor playground with specialized equipment that opened in 2007.

Crusade funds also have helped the center with staffing and buying expensive technology like a DynaVox computer, a touch-screen device that allows patients without speech to communicate in complete sentences. The computer costs “as much as a small car,” Ramer said.

Patients and their families pay for treatment at the center on a sliding scale according to their income, and no child is turned away. “The Crusade is a big help with that,” Ramer said, noting that 70 percent of the center’s clients qualify for assistance with payment and one-third are indigent.

According to Ramer, the Crusade for Children also serves an important role spreading information about the work done by its beneficiaries. “The Crusade certainly adds to the awareness of the community and how organizations in the community are helping provide a safety net.”

59th annual Crusade ready to go

Firefighters are out in full force across Kentucky and Indiana to raise money for children with special needs. It’s almost time for the 59th Annual WHAS Crusade for Children June 2-3, 2012.

“This year’s Crusade will have a truly local feel, taking us back to the very roots that made this organization what it is today,” said Dawn Lee, Crusade President & CEO. The Crusade variety show begins at 7:00pm (EDT) Saturday, June 2 in the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater. Admission is FREE. The Crusade will conclude at 7:00pm on Sunday, June 3 as the last dollars make the tote board climb. In 2011 the Crusade raised more than $5.3 million for special needs children.

Melissa Swan and Terry Meiners host

Melissa Swan of WHAS11 News and 84WHAS Radio’s Terry Meiners will MC the Crusade. They will be joined by favorites Storefront Congregation; Patrick Hughes; The Miracle Dancers; The Diane Moore Dancers; Todd Hildreth and the Crusade Quintet; vocalist Melissa Combs; magician David Garrard; Sam Majesty Starr; and a cast of thousands.

Flagships WHAS11 and 84WHAS lead the way

The annual Crusade Internet/radio/telethon kicks off at 1:00pm (EDT) on Saturday, June 2 and will air in its entirety on WHAS Radio (AM 840), WHAS-TV (DT Channel 11.1) and worldwide on WHAS11.com.
Nearly 200 fire departments along with hundreds of organizations from Kentucky and Indiana will report how much money they’ve raised for Kentuckiana’s children with special needs. Each year firefighters collect nearly 60 percent of all Crusade donations by staging road blocks and other events.

WBNA joins the Crusade Network

New this year to the Crusade Network is WBNA-TV ION 21. As part of the Crusade Network, WBNA will broadcast live from Elizabethtown, Kentucky (Sunday 12:30pm to 2:00pm EDT), Shelbyville, Kentucky (Sunday 2:00pm to 4:30pm EDT) and Bardstown, Kentucky (Sunday 4:30pm to 6:30pm EDT). Bobby Jack Murphy and Garry Gupton will host the segments from Elizabethtown and Bardstown while WHAS11 First Alert Storm Team Meteorologist Ben Pine will host the Shelbyville broadcast. They will welcome area fire departments and civic groups with their fundraising efforts to make life better for special needs children.

WBNA General Manager Tom Fawbush said, “Participating in the Crusade for Children is part of what it means to be from Kentuckiana. We are honored to participate and look forward to promoting the Crusade and helping children in our city.”

WBKO celebrates 10 years as Crusade partner

In addition to WBNA, for the tenth consecutive year, WBKO-TV in Bowling Green will air live broadcasts from Campbellsville, Kentucky and Rough River State Resort Park on both Saturday and Sunday hosted by WBKO’s Chris Allen. WQWQ-TV in Paducah brings the Crusade Variety Show to viewers in Western Kentucky 7:00pm to 10:00pm (CDT) Saturday.

Crusade Radio Network ready to roll

The stations of Commonwealth Broadcasting headquartered in Glasgow, Kentucky boost the Crusade’s statewide network. Thanks to Steve Newberry, Commonwealth President & CEO, listeners hear a live simulcast of the Crusade Variety Show hosted by WHAS11’s Reed Yadon from 8:00pm to 11:00pm (EDT) Saturday.

Television Network

WHAS-TV, Louisville (Flagship station)
WBNA-TV, Louisville
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
WQWQ-TV, Paducah

Internet Network


Radio Network

WHAS, Louisville (Flagship station)
WTCO, Campbellsville
WLBN, Lebanon
WBRT, Bardstown
WIEL, Elizabethtown
WHHT, Bowling Green
WTTL, Madisonville
WPKY, Princeton

Performers scheduled to appear during the 59th Annual Crusade

The Miracle Dancers
Diane Moore Dancers
Tim French, pianist
J. D. Shelburne, country singer
Storefront Congregation, bluegrass performers
Melissa Combs, vocalist
Jeff and Ivan Guernsey with The Bibelhauser Brothers
Todd Hildreth and the Crusade Quintet
Patrick Hughes, Crusade favorite
David Garrard, magician
Sam Majesty Starr, vocalist
Mark Atcher Band
Michelle Sydnor
Holly Stewart
Joann Dickson
Season at Sea

Four ways to give

There are four ways to make a donation to the WHAS Crusade for Children:
1. Through your fire department or civic group
2. Mail to: WHAS Crusade for Children, 520 W. Chestnut St., Louisville, KY 40202
3. Securely online at WHASCrusade.org
4. Phone (502) 582-7706

The mission of the WHAS Crusade for Children

The WHAS Crusade for Children exists to change the lives of children with special needs in Kentucky and Indiana.

About the WHAS Crusade for Children

The WHAS Crusade for Children, established in 1954 by WHAS-TV, raises money for agencies, schools and hospitals to make life better for children with special needs.

Since 1954, the Crusade has raised more than $143 million, giving critical assistance to millions of children in 120 Kentucky and 50 Southern Indiana counties. The money donated in Kentucky stays in Kentucky and, likewise, money donated in Indiana stays in Indiana. No money is sent to any national charity or organization.

The Crusade returns 100% of each donation to agencies that directly improve the lives of children with special needs. The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts are tax-deductible as permitted by law.

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