This Letter to the Editor was published in the July 20, 2018 edition of The Courier-Journal. It was written by Brennen Lawrence, chair of the WHAS Crusade for Children board and CEO of Cuddle Clones.
It is an honor and privilege to be a part of the WHAS Crusade for Children for over 30 years, initially getting involved through the fire service. For the past nine years, I have served on the board of directors, acting as the chair for the last three years. My appreciation for the generosity of the people in Kentuckiana has grown tremendously during this time.
For 65 years, the annual phenomenon known as the Crusade has been an important part of this community. Once again in June, we all came together for the kids, making it possible to award 229 grants this year, totaling $5,675,000. We are proud to continue the tradition of returning 100 percent of the contributions to hospitals, schools, and agencies throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
The Crusade Advisory Panel is a group of interdenominational ministers (rabbis, priests, pastors and reverends) who determine the grant allocations each year. This year was especially difficult, with $14.9 million in requests.
This year, charitable gifts from the people of Kentuckiana will be visible through many worthwhile projects and programs serving children with special needs. Your donations will be allocated to:
• 137 agencies and programs serving children with special needs
• 47 school districts throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana
• 14 individual schools that are not part of a district
• 16 hospitals throughout the region
• 9 capital projects
• 6 universities for scholarships designated for special education teachers
This would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of firefighters, who remain the heart of the Crusade. This effort also includes so many children, parents, churches, synagogues, businesses and schools who have personally collected. It is humbling to see the depth and breadth of the grants that are possible this year due to such great compassion. As a result, many children who have special needs will get the help they deserve.
Board of Directors
WHAS Crusade for Children
The list grows and grows
Here is a growing list of fire departments, groups and organizations as they appeared on the 65th WHAS Crusade for Children.
Keep coming back, this will be updated throughout the weekend!
LG&E KU PPL Companies $229,240
Norton Healthcare $133,305.78
Hazelwood Center (Paul Hall) $788
Jefferson County Public Schools $108,202.53
Okolona Fire Dept $2500 Milwaukee Power Tool Raffle winner – Donna S. Baird
WHAS Crusade for Children Endowment $300,000
Anchorage Public Schools Car Pool Line collection $526.27
Probilt Automotive $500
Sparkles & Spurs $1,794.25
Lemonade Stand (Emma & Noah Taylor) $125.05
Lemonade Stand (Bardstown Primary School – Beth and Emme Payne) $800
Lemonade Stand (Addie Miller) $372.97
Greater Louisville Rowing Club – Adaptive Rowing $1,250
Republic Bank $10,000
Lemonade Stand (Christopher Early) $809.87
VIPS (Visually Impaired Preschool Services) $1,150
Lemonade Stand (Mark and Family) $654.79
Baptist Health Unified Campaign $34,159
Lemonade Stand (Najaie & Selea) $447
Chillers & Zesto Ice Cream Crusade Cookie Vortez promotion $2,547
Lemonade Stand (Nia’s Lemonade Café) $440
Lemonade Stand (Dylan Payne & Adam Harris) $323.44
Lemonade Stand (Viviana & Evangeline) $176.75
Lemonade Stand (Home of the Innocence) $531
Lemonade Stand (Sam, Max, & Zach) $575.01
Lemonade Stand (Eliza, Marley, & Jett Smith) $361.30
Lemonade Stand (Addyson Clarkson) $348.00
Cross Country Distributing $81,198.00
Kelly Knoop and family $7,078.02
Miracle Dancers $8,600.00
Milltown VFD $11,097.22
McAlister’s Deli $110,036.14
Kosair Charities $100,000
Baby Calendar Winner: Grayson Shumate $5,113.00
Ted Throckmorton Memorial Golf Tournament $17,865.00
Superior Van & Mobility $6,500.00
St. Marks United Church of Christ $832.20
Amvets Post 61 $3,000.00
The Buddy Award Recipient – 2018 Leadership Louisville Ignite Team
Bill Newkirk $2,115.15
St. Matthews Fire Dept. $52,812.82
South Oldham Fire & Rescue $51,023.19
Anchorage / Middletown Fire Protection $28,840.52
Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital & Frazier Rehab Institute $2,412.86
Kentuckiana Corvette Club & Moose Lodge 5 $12,572.22
Pacers & Racers Barnyard Dash $8,000.00
Greater Clark Schools $29,953.00
Girl Scout Troop 1601 & 928 $100.00
Louisville Low Riders $1,397.00
New Washington VFD $23,902.00
St. Athanasius Beta Club $1,160.68
Louisville Street Rods $5,361.00
Jackie & Sarah $1,000.00
Ekron Volunteer Fire Department $8,310.00
Campbellsburg Fire Dept $15,235.30
Greenville Township Vol Fire Dept $16,082.39
Palmyra Fire Department $9,855.39
Myman – Holy Cross Student Senior Project $1,940.70
Nichols Fire Protection District $12,440.08
Pierce Polk Township VFD $7,287.28
Lorne Ballard $19,402.00
Clarksville Fire Department $30,254.78
Southeast Bullitt Volunteer Fire & Rescue $15,626.62
Texas Roadhouse $1,000.00
Heth Township VFD $7,604.64
Utica Township VFD $10,468.10
Shively Fire Department $18,935.55
Lyndon Fire & Rescue $35,295.25
Georgetown Township VFD $30,464.00
Highview Fire Department $86,612.31
The Temple $3,928.88
Louisville Fire Dept $21,956.60
Jeffersontown Fire Protection District $20,409.37
Pewee Valley Fire Protection District $21,317.00
Jeffersonville Fire Dept $28,600.49
Muldraugh Fire Department $6,275.38
Meade County Fire District $8,980.00
New Albany Fire Department & Harvest Homecoming $33,626.61
Monroe Township VFD $41,614.82
Kevin Adams (with Buechel Fire Protection District) $11,263.82
Buechel Fire Protection District $33,524.24
Worthington Fire Department $10,857.00
Ballardsville Fire and Rescue $13,779.74
Payneville Fire Department $17,200.27
Lake Dreamland, Camp Taylor Fire, and Okolona VFD $135,969.51
Leavenworth Crusaders $4,332.00
New Chapel VFD $6,103.37
LaGrange Fire & Rescue $32,031.12
Knifley Fire Dept. $826.30
Summersville Fire Dept. $6,200.93
Green County Fire & Rescue $15,175.44
Breeding Fire Dept. $2,400
Elizabethtown Fire Department $23,443.08
West 84 VFD $5,000.00
Stephensburg VFD $4,467.15
White Mills VFD $3,718.00
KY 86 Fire & Rescue $13,861.71
Central Hardin Fire Department $1,573.00
Rineyville Fire Department $16,360.00
Radcliff Fire and Rescue $21,783.04
Sonora Fire & Rescue $10,300.03
Glendale Fire Department $6,782.35
Vine Grove Fire Department $13,773.10
Upton Volunteer Fire & Rescue $1,123.00
Valley Creek Fire Dept $15,000.00
East Grayson County VFD $9,723.75
Clarkson Fire Department $4,626.68
Cloverport Fire Department $1,698.14
McDaniels Fire and Rescue Dept $6,418.81
Anneta Volunteer Fire Department $4,049.00
Harned Fire and Rescue $29,513.13
Irvington Volunteer Fire Department $4,638.09
Webster Area VFD $3,371.84
Hardinsburg City Fire Dept $23,408.86
Wax VFD $2,121.41
Leitchfield Fire Department $14,217.49
Bonnieville Volunteer Fire Dept Quilt Raffle Winner – Kathy Piper
Bonnieville Volunteer Fire Dept $11,866.70
Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Department $24,668.07
Zoneton Fire Protection District $88,616.97
New Middletown VFD $8,723.20
Saint James Church $961.00
Columbia – Adair County Fire Department $56,470.39
Eastwood Fire Protection District $18,167.80
Westpoint Fire Dept./Ambulance $3,030.64
Shepherdsville Fire Department $22,622.48
Charlestown VFD $62,000
Ramsey Volunteer Fire & EMS $13,321.73
Sellerburg Fire Department $17,500.00
Mt. Washington Fire Department $23,425.00
Westport VFD $3,470.05
Harrods Creek FD $8,780.85
Boone Township VFD $5,936.98
Flaherty VFD $18,718.45
Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Protection District $189,307.09
Lanesville VFD $17,583.49
Archdiocese of Louisville $308,000.00
Bob Pilkington’s Family $1,290.00
Woodford County FD $6,272.00
Lake Jericho Fire & Rescure $1,575.95
Pleasureville VFD $19,525.18
New Castle Volunteer Fire & Rescue $11,830.82
Bedford Volunteer Fire & Rescue $8,878.17
Eminence Fire & Rescue $13,430.43
East 60 VFD $12,768.35
Taylorsville/Spencer County VFD $26,600.00
Waddy VFD $14,911.24
Bagdad FD $12,099.61
Shelbyville FD $21,400.00
Simpsonville VFD $15,788.35
Mt. Eden VFD $13,182.00
Shelby County Fire & Rescue $83,980.70
The 65th Annual WHAS Crusade for Children will kick off with a Variety Show headlined by The Misty Mountain String Band. They will be joined by many other great performers including this year’s AMERICAN IDOL contestants Cody Martin and Emmy Bodner, plus 1200 and The Free Soul Effect. Many other Crusade favorites will be performing like Patrick Henry Hughes, Melissa Combs, Todd Hildreth and the Crusade Quintet, magician David Garrard, the Diane Moore Dancers, the Miracle Dancers and more!
Show time is 7:00PM (EDT) at the The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts Bomhard Theater in Louisville, KY.
Admission is FREE! Seating is first come, first served.
WHAS11’s Rachel Platt and 840WHAS Radio’s Terry Meiners will emcee the Crusade Variety Show.
The WHAS Crusade for Children telethon begins at 1:00pm on Saturday, June 2 with fire departments, civic groups, organizations and companies reporting donations. The Crusade telethon concludes at 7:00pm on Sunday, June 3. As always, it’ll air in its entirety on WHAS11 TV, 840WHAS radio and WHAS11.com.
In its first 65 years, the WHAS Crusade has raised over $175 million for children with special needs. 100% of all donations are returned in the form of grants to agencies, hospitals and schools that make life better for children with special needs.
The WHAS Crusade for Children is America’s most successful local telethon!
Misty Mountain String Band kicks it off
Thrilled and excited to be a part of the 65th Crusade, the Misty Mountain String Band will kick it all off with a free concert at the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater at 7:00pm (EDT) on Saturday, June 2.
Drawing influence from old-time music, Americana, bluegrass, and songs of labor and protest, Misty Mountain
String Band doesn’t stray far from their upbringings in Kentucky and Virginia. Formed as a pickup group for an old-time camp revival, MMSB has evolved into a professional band that’s as at home playing with the Louisville Philharmonia Orchestra as at bluegrass festivals with Americana favorites. The group connects with fans of folk music around the world, sharing unique string band music written for today but informed by tradition.
MMSB has universal appeal, combining high energy with charismatic storytelling and a warm, conversational
Fiddle / Neal Green
Bass / Derek Harris
Banjo and Mandolin / Paul Martin
Guitar / Frankie Leo
Watch the Misty Mountain String Band
The Papa John’s 10 Miler is the third “leg” of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running™. It’ll be held Saturday, April 7th at 8:00am. There’s still time to register!
The Louisville Triple Crown of Running, presented by Planet Fitness, which includes the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic, Rodes City Run 10K and Papa John’s 10 MIler, was formed in 1984.
Register now! And learn more about the Papa John’s 10 Miler, click here.
Net proceeds from the Papa John’s 10 Miler will be donated to the WHAS Crusade for Children.
In 2017, the Louisville Triple Crown of Running℠ races donated $77,886 to the Crusade. This brings the Triple Crown’s total amount donated since 2002 to the Crusade for Children to over $1.8 Million. Thank you to our sponsors and the running community for making this donation possible.
The WHAS Crusade for Children is the largest granting organization to agencies serving special needs children in Kentucky and southern Indiana. 100% of every donation to the Crusade is returned to the community to serve special needs children.
Welcome to the 11th annual Crusade Children’s Calendar! The WHAS Crusade for Children is creating a 15-month calendar that will begin in October, 2018.
The contest is open to children who are not older than 5-years-old by June 1, 2018.
How it works
As child photos are submitted, they will be seen here on WHASCrusade.org. People then vote for their favorite child by sending in donations to the Crusade. The child with the most donations (votes) will appear on the calendar cover. The child with the second most donations will appear on his or her favorite month. Third place will choose his or her month and so on til all months are filled. Please read the official rules below.
The Crusade will have professional photos taken of the top 16 children and those are the photos that will appear in the calendar. All children will be included in the calendar. Those who don’t make the top 16 will get day and date spots chosen in finishing order. Vote getter number 17 will get first choice of day and date, then number 18, etc.
Get started here
All entrants must fill out the Calendar Entry Form.
Follow these simple steps:
1. Read the complete rules below
2. Click on the graphics below to download the forms
3. Fill out the ENTRY form
4. Email or mail the completed ENTRY form, $25 entry fee and baby picture
Send in your child’s photo and entry forms!
Those interested, must send in one (1) child photo or CD containing one (1) child photo. The photo will not be returned.
Email your photo, Calendar Entry Form plus the $25 entry fee to:
To e-mail Deandra, click here
Via Postal Service
Mail your photo, Calendar Entry Form and $25 entry fee to:
WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Photos and entry forms must be received by 4:00pm EDT April 13, 2018.
Call (502) 582-7706
Read these complete rules
1. The WHAS Crusade for Children will create a 15-month calendar starting October, 2018.
2. The contest is open to children who are not older than 5 years by June 1, 2018.
3. One child photo or CD with photo and child’s name must be submitted and will not be returned.
4. Parent(s) must check the box on the ENTRY FORM RELEASE AGREEMENT allowing use of child’s image.
5. Photos & entry forms must be received by 4:00pm EDT April 13, 2018.
6. All child photos will be posted on www.WHASCrusade.org
7. The Crusade will photograph the top 16 children for calendar publication.
8. Winners will be determined by the largest monetary donation (voting by contribution).
9. All donations must be received by 4:00pm EDT May 25, 2018.
10. The winner will be featured on the calendar cover.
11. The second place winner gets first choice of a specific month.
12. The third place winner gets second choice of a specific month.
13. The fourth through 16th winners will get choice of the remaining months.
14. The winners finishing 17th and beyond will get choice of specific days in the year.
15. The top 16 finalists will receive one free 8″x10″ photo.
About the WHAS Crusade for Children
The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc. established in 1954 by WHAS-TV, raises money for schools, agencies and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children. In its first 64 years, the Crusade has raised more than $175 million.
Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the Crusade for Children is able to return 100% of all donations to organizations that serve special needs children in all 120 Kentucky counties and more than 50 southern Indiana counties. Fire departments raise more than 50 percent of the money each year by staging road blocks and 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. The Crusade is the most successful and oldest local telethon in America.
Congratulations to Monroe Township Fire Department, Northeast Nelson County Fire Protection District, Highview Fire Protection District, Cub Run Fire Department and Cross County Distributing for the highest percentage increases in donations to the WHAS Crusade for Children from 2016 to 2017.
This year, thanks to firefighters, businesses and the good people of Kentucky and Indiana the WHAS Crusade for Children raised $5.5 million. Today, fire crews and one business are being recognized for showing the largest percentage increase in their totals for the 2017 Crusade. These awards are called the Walton Awards and the Phyllis Knight Award. Both are named for pioneering TV hosts and former Crusade directors, Jim Walton and Phyllis Knight.
The Jim Walton Awards
In the category from $1,000 and $9,999 in donations:
Cub Run Volunteer Fire Department
2016 total: $500.00
2017 total: $1,698.15
Increase of 240%
(Cub Run was unable to attend the ceremony.)
In the category from $10,000 and $49,999 in donations:
Northeast Nelson Fire Department
2016 total: $14,308.13
2017 total: $137,734.97
Increase of 863%
In the category from $50,000 and $99,999 in donations:
Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Department
2016 total: 35,918.64
2017 total: $50,396.16
Increase of 40%
In the category from $100,000 in donations and above:
Highview Fire Proteciton District
2016 total: $106,733.33
2017 total: $261,755.13
Increase of 145%
(Okolona, Buechel & Camp Taylor gave Highview their collections in memory of firefighter Kevin Bayens.)
The Phyllis Knight Award
Each year in honor of former Crusade Executive Director Phyllis Knight, the Knight Award is given to the business or organization with the largest percentage increase in its donation.
This year that award goes to:
Cross Country Distributing
2016 total: $50,052.00
2017 total: $75,177.00
Increase of 50%
We want to point out that Steve Hancock and Cross Country Distributing have raised $948,000 dollars since 1990. That means if they raise $52,000 dollars in the coming year they’ll cross the million dollar mark in donations to the WHAS Crusade for Children.
This is why fire departments do so much
Meet Zoe! She’s a shining example of what a difference your Crusade donations can make in the life of a child.
Fire departments raise nearly 60 percent of the Crusade for Children’s donations each year by staging road blocks and other events.
It all started in 1956 when Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Chief Ernie Bohler stood on stage during the third annual Crusade in a steamy un-air-conditioned Memorial Auditorium and challenged all fire departments to join the cause. The challenge was heard loud and clear.
Click here to see the complete list of fire departments that participate annually in the WHAS Crusade for Children.
Firefighter Rib Cook Off October 7
Don’t miss the Tri-City Van & Storage Yard Sale benefiting the WHAS Crusade for Children.
It’s this weekend Oct 6-7th located at 7th & Industry in Louisville.
Southeast Fire Benefit Car, Bike, and Tractor Show October 7
Charlestown FD Biscuit & Gravy Breakfast October 7
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — He was a fixture on the WHAS Crusade for Children from its beginnings in 1954.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of WHAS-TV and Radio legend, Milton Metz. He died peacefully in Louisville at the age of 95.
Milton became one of this area’s most recognized personalities, first heard on WHAS Radio in 1946. He helped put WHAS-TV on the air. In fact, he was one of the first faces you saw on WHAS-TV in 1950.
Milton just celebrated his 95th birthday in September in rehab. The WHAS Crusade for Children staff brought him a cake. More than 300 viewers mailed get well cards to him after he had fallen and broken his shoulder in the summer and was in recovery last August. He loved every card and letter, and along the way, he always said he was getting wonderful care.
His trailblazing nighttime radio show called “Metz Here” was one of the first nighttime talk shows in the United States. It ran from 1959 to 1993.
He also hosted “Omelet” on WHAS-TV, an interview program that aired before the Noon News on WHAS-TV. He picked Faith Lyles as his co-host.
He retired from 840 WHAS-AM in 1993 but kept doing ads for TV and Radio.
He came to Louisville from Columbus, Ohio and married his beloved wife Mimi whom he met in Louisville. She died last April. He is survived by his son Perry Metz.
Funeral arrangements are pending through the Herman Meyer Funeral Home.
Watch Milton on the 10th annual WHAS Crusade for Children opening in 1963.
Watch Milton’s appearance on the 63rd annual WHAS Crusade for Children in 2016.
Watch a reflection of Milton’s career and life captured by WHAS11 news.
Click here for more coverage from WHAS11.com.
Click here for more coverage from The Courier-Journal.
Click here to hear Milton Metz interview a 20 year-old Muhammad Ali on 840 WHAS when he was still Cassius Clay. It was originally broadcast on WHAS on November 29, 1962.