Courier Journal editorial
The following editorial appeared in the June 6, 2014 edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
This weekend, the WHAS Crusade for Children will begin its seventh decade of improving life for special needs children. Thousands across the state and beyond will come together to celebrate the 61st annual Crusade starting Saturday.
The Crusade, broadcast by WHAS-TV and WHAS radio, is labeled the most successful local telethon in America. Since its inception, the Crusade has become a major and beloved local institution. For months before the telethon each June, grassroots collection efforts are held throughout the area — from “pickle jars” at restaurants, to bingo games, bake sales, benefit concerts and hundreds of similar events.
The WHAS Crusade for Children has raised more than $154 million since its beginnings in 1954. The money goes to organizations providing direct benefit to children with special needs. Donations collected from each county remain within that county to benefit children in their area.
“The community is what makes the Crusade so special. It would not exist without the generosity of the people of Kentuckiana,” said Dawn Lee, Crusade president and CEO.
“We are grateful for the efforts of the firefighters who collect year after year and do it with such big hearts. We are also thankful to all of the volunteers who come out Crusade weekend and know how to have a good time while working really hard. It is truly like a family reunion every year. Everyone is invited to be a part of it … If you give any amount to the Crusade, you become part of a larger family that is truly making a tremendous difference in the lives of children with special needs.”
The backbone of the collection efforts, and a signature of the Crusade itself, are the dozens of local fire departments who collect nearly 60 percent of the donations.
This year, the Crusade also has created a QR code that will be on T-shirts and firefighter boots, which allow people with smartphones equipped with a code reader app to go straight to its online donation page.
The telethon kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday, and the live variety show, from the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater, will air at 7 p.m. Saturday. It concludes at 7 p.m. Sunday.
So when you see a fire truck at a road block of any intersection in the city, grab your spare change, or even a few dollar bills, and help change a child’s life for the better. We’re all family this weekend.
How to donate
• Make a donation securely online at www.WHASCrusade.org (Scanning the Crusade’s QR code off a T-shirt, card or sticker also will take you to the donation page.)
• Mail a check or charge information in an envelope to WHAS Crusade for Children, 520 W. Chestnut St., Louisville, Ky. 40202.
• Call the Crusade at (502) 582-7706.
All for the kids!
WHAS11’s Melissa Swan and Doug Proffitt took one for the team today! After being challenged by the WHAS11 Good Morning Kentuckiana crew (Andy Treinen, Kelsey Starks, Ben Pine and Brooke Katz), they agreed to take the Crusade Cold Water Challenge at Pleasure Ridge Park Fire District. Good sports! Take a look!
J D Shelburne brings his country magic to the Crusade Saturday night
The Miracle Dancers will add a touching performance Saturday night
The Latkovski sisters will appear on the Crusade Saturday night
Cast of thousands ready to present Crusade 61
In a few days, the WHAS Crusade for Children will begin its 7th decade of making life better for children with special needs. Thousands will come together to celebrate the 61st annual Crusade on June 7 & 8, 2014.
The WHAS Crusade for Children has raised more than $154 million since its beginnings in 1954. 100 percent of those donations have been granted to agencies, schools and hospitals that provide direct benefit to children with special needs. The Crusade funded nearly 200 grants last year across Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Addyson’s story is what the Crusade is all about
“If you find yourself growing cynical about community or compassion, just remember that it’s Crusade time! Every year the WHAS Crusade for Children is a demonstration of caring and coming together for the greater purpose of helping children with special needs. Every dollar, dime or penny really makes a difference. Please be generous to the firefighters collecting now through June 8 and know that 100% of your contribution will go to the kids,” said Crusade President & CEO Dawn Lee.
Melissa Swan & Terry Meiners host free show at Bomhard Theater
Melissa Swan of WHAS11 News “On Your Side” and 84WHAS Radio’s Terry Meiners will host the 61st Annual WHAS Crusade for Children on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater in Louisville beginning at 7:00pm (EDT). Admission is free.
They will be joined by country favorite J. D. Shelburne; Crusade Cannonballer Patrick Hughes; songstress Melissa Combs; The Miracle Dancers; The Diane Moore Dancers; neo soul group Second Chance; pop country trio Southern Sirens; Todd Hildreth and the Crusade Quintet; magician David Garrard and classic rockers Mojo Bay along with hundreds of volunteers.
Flagships WHAS11 and 84WHAS lead the way
The annual Crusade Internet-radio-telethon kicks off at 1:00pm (EDT) on Saturday, June 7 and will air in its entirety on WHAS Radio (AM 840), WHAS-TV (Channel 11.1) and worldwide on WHAS11.com until its conclusion at 7:00pm (EDT) Sunday, June 8.
Nearly 200 fire departments along with hundreds of companies, organizations and civic groups from Kentucky and Indiana will report how much money they’ve raised for Kentuckiana’s children with special needs. Each year firefighters collect more than 50 percent of all Crusade donations by staging road blocks and other events.
WBNA part of the Crusade Network for third year
For the third year, WBNA-TV ION 21 is a strong partner in 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 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 to announce their fundraising efforts.
WBNA General Manager Tom Fawbush said, “We are glad to be a part of this annual miracle that brings people together to make Kentuckiana a better place to live.”
WBKO celebrates 12 years as Crusade partner
In addition to WBNA, for 12 straight years, WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, Kentucky will air live broadcasts from Campbellsville, Kentucky and Rough River State Resort Park on both Saturday and Sunday. The broadcasts will be hosted by WBKO Weather Director Chris Allen.
Crusade Radio Network ready
The stations of Commonwealth Broadcasting headquartered in Glasgow, Kentucky boost the Crusade’s statewide reach. 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 10:00pm (EDT) Saturday.
WHAS-TV, Louisville (Flagship station)
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
WHAS, Louisville (Flagship station)
WHHT, Bowling Green
Download the Crusade App
Yes, the Crusade has an app for that! The Crusade is happy to announce that through the Louisville company, Talgrace Media & Marketing, there’s now a Crusade App that can be downloaded for your Apple iPhone or Android phone. Just go to the Apple App Store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android and search for Crusade for Children.
For fans of social media, the Crusade encourages everyone to use the hashtag #WHASCrusade when tweeting about the Crusade on Twitter. This will create an ongoing dialog and fun for Crusade supporters. You can follow the Crusade on Twitter: @CrusadeChildren or www.twitter.com/crusadechildren. Join the conversation!
Throughout Crusade weekend, there will be continual Facebook updates so be sure to make the Crusade your friend at www.facebook.com/crusadechildren.
Plus the Crusade’s Web site, www.WHASCrusade.org will feature updates throughout Crusade weekend.
About the WHAS Crusade for Children
The WHAS Crusade for Children is America’s most successful local telethon. Since 1954 the Crusade has helped millions of children.
In 2013, the Crusade awarded grants to nearly 200 agencies, schools and hospitals that make life better for children with special needs across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Children with special needs are grateful for contributions to the Crusade.
There are many ways to make a donation to the WHAS Crusade for Children:
• Make a donation securely online at www.WHASCrusade.org
• Mail a check or charge information in an envelope to the Crusade for Children office
• Become a Crusade Angel through monthly automatic deductions
• “Scan to donate” our new QR code on fire boots and Crusade shirts with your smart phone
• Donate appreciated stock, life insurance policies or other non-cash property
• Consider including the Crusade through a bequest
WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Or call: (502) 582-7706
The mission of the WHAS Crusade for Children
The WHAS Crusade for Children improves the futures of children with special needs by inspiring people to give and awarding grants.
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 $154 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. Firefighters raise more than 50 percent of the Crusade’s annual donations.
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. More is online at www.WHASCrusade.org.