The 67th WHAS Crusade for Children will be rescheduled from June 6-7, 2020 to August 8-9, 2020. Communities throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana are a key part of the success of the WHAS Crusade for Children. Crusade supporters come together each year to help make life better for children with special needs who are among some of the most medically fragile citizens we have in our communities. Due to the impact of social distancing, the decision was made to postpone the annual radio/telethon.
“The community is such an important part of the WHAS Crusade for Children. With this in mind, we made the decision to reschedule Crusade 67 for August 8 and 9. In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to the health and safety of the children we serve. It is our hope that rescheduling the telethon will provide additional time for our dedicated firefighters and community partners, who are crucial to our success,” said Dawn Lee, President & CEO of the WHAS Crusade for Children.
Firefighters lead the way
Fire departments across Kentucky and southern Indiana raise nearly 60 percent of the Crusade donations each year by staging roadblocks and hosting other events. Fundraising events can be found on WHASCrusade.org/events.
Since 1954, the WHAS Crusade for Children has hosted an annual radio/telethon. Over the years, it has moved around the calendar having been held in November, September, May and most recently in June. A year-by-year history can be found on WHASCrusade.org/whas-crusade-for-children-history.
Kristin Goodwillie joins Terry Meiners
WHAS11’s Kristin Goodwillie and 840 WHAS Radio’s Terry Meiners will emcee the Crusade Variety Show. Show time is 7:00pm (EDT) at the Kentucky Center for the Arts Bomhard Theater in Louisville. The show is open to the public. Admission is free.
The WHAS Crusade for Children will begin at 1:00pm on Saturday, August 8 with fire departments, civic groups, organizations and companies reporting donations. The Crusade will conclude at 7:00pm on Sunday, August 9.
To make a donation
The WHAS Crusade for Children has made it easy for supporters to donate with many different options. Donations can be made securely online at WHASCrusade.org or by mail:
WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Digital donations can also be made using Venmo, PayPal and Alexa Pay. In addition, Facebook users can make a one-time donation on the WHAS Crusade for Children Facebook page or host a Facebook fundraiser for the Crusade. Fire departments and other civic groups will also still be collecting donations this year.
The annual Crusade Internet/radio/telethon kicks off at 1:00pm (EDT) on Saturday, August 8 and airs in its entirety on WHAS Radio (AM 840), WHAS-TV (Channel 11.1) and on WHAS11.com.
In addition, WBNA-TV (Channel 21.1) in Louisville airs live broadcasts 12:30pm to 6:30pm Sunday, August 9 from the Kentucky cities of Elizabethtown, Shelbyville and Bardstown. WBKO-TV in Bowling Green airs remote telecasts from Campbellsville on Saturday and Leitchfield on Sunday.
WHAS-TV, Louisville (flagship station)
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
WHAS, Louisville (flagship station)
WHAS11.com will provide live video streaming of the entire broadcast visible anywhere in the world and also simulcast on YouTube and Facebook Live. WHASCrusade.org will provide updates throughout the weekend and a complete list of all groups that make donations.
100 percent for the kids
In its first 66 years, the Crusade has raised more than $190 million for children with special needs. Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the Crusade is able to grant 100 percent of all donations to agencies, hospitals and schools that serve children with special needs in all 120 Kentucky counties and more than 50 southern Indiana counties.
It takes a cast of thousands to stage the annual miracle. From individual donors dropping pocket change into boots at firefighter road blocks to children with lemonade stands to corporations offering payroll deduction.
About the WHAS Crusade for Children
The WHAS Crusade for Children, established by WHAS-TV in 1954, raises money for agencies, hospitals and schools that make life better for children with special needs. In its first 66 years, the Crusade has raised more than $190 million. Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the Crusade returns 100 percent of all donations to organizations in all 120 Kentucky counties and more than 50 counties in southern Indiana. Fire departments raise nearly 60 percent of the money each year by staging roadblocks and hosting other events. Millions of children have been helped by the Crusade since 1954. The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
There are so many ways to make a difference and so many people who help the WHAS Crusade for Children. Please meet just a few.
Steve & Annette Roberts
Many who work for the public good during their lifetimes want those efforts to continue once they’re gone. Our WHAS Crusade for Children “1954 Society” honorees, Steve & Annette Roberts, plan to continue to help children with special needs by remembering the WHAS Crusade for Children in their bequest.
Barbie Meyer, continues to help children with special needs by remembering the WHAS Crusade for Children in her bequest.
The WHAS Crusade for Children 1954 Society
Learn more about the Crusade’s 1954 Society, click here or call (502) 582-7706. It’s a simple way to make a long term difference.
To make a secure online donation anytime, click here or call (502) 582-7706.
Longtime producer, director, and writer at WHAS-TV, Bob Pilkington passed away on March 4. He participated in the WHAS Crusade for Children from the very first year in 1954 until last year – that’s 66 in a row. He was the last survivor who had a part in every Crusade for Children telethon.
The photo below, taken in WHAS11 Studio H during the 60th annual WHAS Crusade for Children in 2013, shows (left to right) WHAS11’s Melissa Swan, longtime volunteer Ted Throckmorton, Bob Pilkington, WHAS broadcast pioneer Milton Metz, and WHAS Radio’s Terry Meiners.
Ted, Bob and Milton appeared annually on the Crusade telethon for more than 60 years. Ted passed away in 2015 and Milton in 2017.
And we recently received this from Bob’s son:
“He also did “Small Talk,” “Randy & Lolita” (the talking parrot, a cartoon show), covered races at Churchill Downs, specials, and special events. Then Louisville Productions…Those earlier shows haven’t got much mention…
Thanks for the great article, we really appreciate how the station has remembered him.”
There are more photos of Bob on the Crusade’s Facebook page, just click here.
See this video from the 60th annual WHAS Crusade for Children on the Crusade’s Facebook page, just click here.
Here’s his obituary as published in the Courier-Journal:
Louisville – Bob Pilkington, age 94, of Louisville, KY, passed away on March 4, 2020. He was predeceased by his wife of 40 years, Audrey E (Wedel) Pilkington, and brother Thomas A Pilkington. He is survived by his children Robert P Pilkington and wife Kaoruko H Yoshida-Pilkington, of Boston, MA; Dr. Constance J Pilkington, of Williamsburg, VA; and David B Pilkington and wife Lisa A (Kersten) Pilkington of Grayslake, IL and their, two sons Colin D Pilkington and Corey R Pilkington.
He served in the infantry in World War II, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, was a POW, and was awarded the Purple Heart. His career as a producer, director, and writer at WHAS-TV began in 1951, retiring from there in 1989. Notable credits include: weekly television shows such as Hayloft Hoedown and T-Bar-V Ranch; numerous local and regional documentaries; and 66 years of volunteer work with the WHAS Crusade for Children. He was an avid volunteer at Historic Locust Grove and Reading for the Blind. Memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020 at St. John Lutheran Church, 901 Breckenridge Lane. Visitation will be Thursday, March 12 from 5-8 p.m. at Pearson’s, 149 Breckenridge Ln. and Friday from 3-4 p.m. at the church. As a memorial, the family would appreciate donations to WHAS Crusade for Children or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Published in The Courier-Journal from Mar. 8 to Mar. 9, 2020
Bob received the Crusade’s Buddy Award in 2007
Here’s the story as it appeared on WHASCrusade.org in 2007.
One of the original Crusaders, veteran WHAS-TV producer-director Bob Pilkington was honored with the WHAS Crusade for Children Buddy Award. The “Buddy” is given annually to someone who goes above and beyond in supporting the Crusade. It’s named in honor of longtime Crusade Executive Director Bud Harsbmeier.
Bob was given the award during the 54th annual WHAS Crusade for Children on Sunday, June 3, 2007 in the 3:00pm hour.
Bob Pilkington is what one would call a TV pioneer. Working at WHAS-TV in the 1950’s and 60’s, he produced daily live TV shows. Writing content like comedy sketches from scratch each and every day. He directed legendary WHAS-TV shows “T-Bar-V” and “Hayloft Hoedown.” This was in the day when all TV was LIVE without the benefit of editing to correct a miscue.
“Pilk,” as his pals call him, is one of only four people who have participated in all 54 annual WHAS Crusade for Children telethons. And he worked on the two Cerebral Palsy telethons, the granddaddy of the Crusade, that aired on WHAS-TV in 1952 and 1953. The Crusade was born in 1954. The other three original Crusaders are Milton Metz, Ted Throckmorton and Dave Dumeyer, Sr.
Even during this year’s Crusade, Pilk did his usual shift as he’s done for years. Strapping on a headest and telling camera operators what shots to get, he directed the live broadcast in Studio G Control for a 3-hour shift.
When presented the “Buddy” by Crusade CEO Rebecca Jackson and award namesake Bud Harbsmeier, he was speechless. With his signature dry wit, he said, “I’m just getting back at all the people who did that to me!” Meaning those people who wouldn’t say much when interviewed in Bob’s day.
But later, he said, “I’m very grateful for the honor and the recognition.” Congratulations Pilk!
According to studies at the Centers for Disease Control, one in nine babies in Kentucky is born prematurely, which can lead to a host of medical issues. The Anderson family faced the challenge of their son Austin’s premature birth. But they found timely help thanks to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital and the WHAS Crusade for Children.
Since 2014, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital has received $177,000 in Crusade grants. Those funds have given families confidence that there is healthcare available to allow premature babies like Austin to get a proper start in life.
The number of children diagnosed on the autism spectrum keeps growing. When Evan was diagnosed years ago, his family wasn’t certain what that meant. In Evan’s case, that sometimes meant aggressive behavior. The family now has hope thanks in part to the WHAS Crusade for Children and Jefferson County Public Schools’ Binet School.
With his progress using a communication device, Evan is beginning to attempt conversations, which is something his mother never dreamed could happen. Since 1961, Jefferson County Public Schools have received more than $10 million in Crusade grants to help students like Evan.
A first child brings lots of excitement but can also bring worry when young parents suddenly have to deal with the responsibility of being moms and dads. Matthew Ayala’s parents thought he was doing okay until he was diagnosed with autism. Once they got over the initial surprise they found help through the Adair County School system and the WHAS Crusade for Children.
Since 1995, Adair County Schools have received more than one million dollars in Crusade grants. Those funds have given students like Matthew a way to satisfy their curiosity and build their futures.
A series of unexpected diagnoses left the Newby family wondering where they could find help for their son, Branson, after it was determined that he has autism and epilepsy. They were persistent, and thanks to a team that includes therapists, Bardstown Elementary School and the WHAS Crusade for Children, Branson is getting the support he needs.
Since 1969, Bardstown Independent Schools have received almost a million dollars in Crusade funding. Those grants continue to guarantee that children like Branson get the help they need to fulfill their potential.
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