Ken Middleton, General Manager of WHAS11 from 1997 to 2000, passed away on April 21, 2020. As GM, he also served as Chair of the WHAS Crusade for Children Board of Directors. May he rest in peace.
More on his life and accomplishments are noted in his obituary as published in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Kenneth Norwood Middleton
Louisville – On April 21, 2020, Kenneth Norwood Middleton suddenly died at his home in Louisville, Kentucky. Born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia, he was preceded in death by his parents, Norwood Cronk Middleton (2/1/2004) and Lucille Hood Middleton (9/11/2008). Ken is survived by his wife, Sarah Lewis Middleton, two stepchildren, Brian Wesley Lewis and Margaret Elizabeth Lewis, and his brother, David Lynn Middleton (Deborah Simmons Middleton).
In Ken’s youth, he was an Eagle Scout with two Palms and started a newspaper at his high school. He graduated with his B.A. from University of Virginia. He earned an M.A. in Communications from American University, where he was awarded a full fellowship. He was awarded Teacher of the Year at Andrew Lewis High School in Salem, VA. As part of the Rotary Club of Louisville, he was awarded Rotarian of the Year 2013-2014 and Service Above Self in 2013. Ken was a proud veteran of the Vietnam War.
Ken’s career was filled with meaningful and exciting work. He used his keen intellect, gracious people skills, and managerial excellence to help others succeed. He was a reporter in Virginia, an assistant news director in Charlotte, NC; Hartford, CT; Washington, DC. Then was a news director in Tampa, FL, and again in Charlotte, NC. He became the President and General Manager of WHAS-TV in Louisville from 1997-2000 after serving in the same role at KMSB-TV in Tucson, AZ, from 1993-1997. He also served as Vice President, Operations, and Support Services for the National Center for Family Literacy in Louisville from 2001-2006. Ken finished his career as President of Middleton Consulting, helping businesses and nonprofits tell their story to their customers and donors.
Ken loved community involvement and did so through serving as an elder and teacher at his church, Second Presbyterian Church, and through several significant roles for Rotary Club of Louisville, including the Board of Directors, 2013-2015. He served his community through several different organizations Encore Louisville, Volunteers of American Mid-States, Kentucky Derby Festival, and Metro United Way. Ken loved to travel and go on trips with his family. Some of his explorations included China, Kenya, the Caribbean, Thailand, Australia, Canada, and much of Europe and the United States. Ken cared deeply and genuinely about others and modeled thoughtful, gracious servanthood to his family, friends, those he worked with, and his community. He will be greatly missed.
Memorial and funeral services are pending and will be announced at a later date.
Published in The Courier-Journal from Apr. 24 to Apr. 26, 2020
With the 67th annual WHAS Crusade for Children Weekend postponed to August 8th & 9th, there are many NEW IDEAS to donate, collect and raise funds all while maintaining social distancing.
Many fire departments and organizations have set one of these up and they are very successful.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Click the 3 dots on your “Create A Post” section
2. Scroll down to “Support Nonprofit”
3. Select WHAS Crusade for Children and finalize your fundraiser
We are happy to guide you through this if you need assistance. Call the Crusade office at 502-582-7706.
Text to Donate
Supporters can now text CRUSADE to 50155 to complete a donation.
There is the ability to honor a fire department on the donation link.
Venmo a donation to @CrusadeForChildren and list the fire deparment in the comments section. We have yard signs that we can drop off at fire stations to promote Venmo.
Donate Securely Online
Give online safely and securely. There is a section where someone can honor a loved one or a fire department.
To make a secure online donation, CLICK HERE or call (502) 582-7706.
Donate by Mail
Even though our office is closed for now during the pandemic, we are able to access our mail.
Send your donation to:
WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202.
Please be sure to make note if the donation is in honor or memory of someone or if you’d like to give credit to a certain fire department.
New feature makes it easier than ever to help the Crusade!
There’s a new and exciting way to donate to the WHAS Crusade for Children: TEXT TO DONATE!
It’s safe and secure. All you need is your cell phone.
Here’s all you do:
1) Text crusade to 50155 (It’s not case sensitive – you can type crusade or CRUSADE.)
2) You’ll get a text in reply.
3) Complete the donation form on your phone.
4) You’ll then receive a confirming text.
5) You also receive an email.
Thanks for your continued support of the WHAS Crusade for Children.
And of course, you can always make a donation securely online, just click here.
Help the Crusade!
Every time you shop on Amazon, if you go to www.smile.amazon.com and select the WHAS Crusade for Children as your charity of choice, Amazon will make a donation to the Crusade. It’s simple. And it costs you NOTHING!
We all need supplies and we all want to help children with special needs — now you can do both!
THANKS for your continued support of the WHAS Crusade for Children. (Just click on the graphic below.)
Shop AmazonSmile for the WHAS Crusade for Children
Plan ahead for Mother’s Day, Derby, “just because” by shopping the Kendra Scott virtual event, benefiting the Crusade Engagement Council and the WHAS Crusade for Children.
Two Day Event
Friday, April 10
Saturday, April 11
Use code: GIVEBACK6796 at checkout. Begin your shopping journey! Click here.
Learn more about the Crusade Engagement Council, click here.
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.