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.
See highlights of Crusade 63 on social media!
Crusade Wear merchandise still available
You can purchase the shirts, hats and collectibles that you saw on TV over Crusade weekend securely online. Learn more, just click here.
Just days after Louisville legend Muhammad Ali passed away, the people of Kentucky and Indiana dug deep and championed the 63rd annual WHAS Crusade for Children. The final tote board tallied $5,465,933.47 as “The Greatest” local telethon in America came to a close.
The 30-hour Internet/radio/telethon kicked off with an up tempo variety show headlined by Louisville Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams’ Jazz Band, hosted by WHAS11’s Rachel Platt and 840 WHAS radio’s Terry Meiners on Saturday, June 4. It all ended with Crusade volunteers crowding into WHAS-TV’s historic studio H singing the traditional “God Bless America” just before 7:00pm (EDT) Sunday, June 5, 2016.
“It truly is an annual miracle. We’re thrilled that the wonderful people of Kentuckiana stepped up once again to help children with special needs in our community by contributing so generously to the 63rd annual WHAS Crusade for Children,” said WHAS Crusade for Children President & CEO Dawn Lee.
100 percent of $170 million for the kids
In its first 63 years, the Crusade has raised over $170 million for children with special needs. One hundred percent of all donations raised Crusade weekend are returned in the form of grants to agencies, schools and hospitals that make life better for children with special needs.
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, it all comes together each year on the first weekend in June.
Honor your pledge
Mail your donation to:
WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Top 5 Kentucky Fire Departments
New Castle Volunteer Fire & Rescue $311,787.63
Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Protection District $297,555.93
Fern Creek Fire Department $136,144.05
McMahan Fire Protection District $132,055.00
Highview Fire Protection District $105,491.28
Top 5 Indiana Fire Departments
Lafayette Township Fire Department $108,750
Charlestown Volunteer Fire Department $46,600
Monroe Township Fire Department $35,977.89
New Washington Fire Department $27,509
Clarksville Fire Department $26,351.17
Archdiocese of Louisville $301,581
LG&E KU PPL Companies $217,641
Kosair Charities $150,000
Louisville Triple Crown of Running $142,146
Norton Healthcare $125,135
WHAS11 News: Full coverage of Crusade 63
See more, click here.
Courier-Journal: Crusade 63 is the Courier-Journal’s lead story
Read more click here.
News Enterprise: “Area fire depts. raise over $160k for Crusade”
Read more, click here.
WHAS11.com: “WHAS Crusade for Children raises more than $5.4M”
Read more, click here.
Courier-Journal: “WHAS Crusade for Children kicks off Saturday”
Read more, click here.
WBKO-TV: “Renshaw Early Childhood Development Center”
Read more, click here.
840 WHAS Radio: “WHAS Crusade Tops 5-Million”
Read more, click here.
Kentucky.com: “WHAS Crusade telethon raises nearly $5.5M for children”
Read more, click here.
Insider Louisville: “Pass the boot: A brief history of the Crusade for Children”
Read more, click here.
Kentucky Standard: “Crusade gearing up for weekend”
Read more, click here.
The Record: “A record-setting Crusade for Children”
Read more, click here.
Who gave how much?
Here’s an alphabetized list of donations during the 63rd Annual WHAS Crusade for Children.
American Legion Shawnee Post 193 $2,366.22
AMVETS Post 61 $4,400.00
Anchorage Fire & EMS $4,457.09
Anchorage Schools $931.00
Anderson County $7,142.00
Anneta Fire Dept. $4,268.31
Archdiocese of Louisville $301,581.00
Bagdad Fire Dept. $17,119.85
Ballard, Lorne $14,761.50
Ballardsville Fire & Rescue $19,417.00
Baptist Health Unified Campaign $31,205.34
Barr, Dawson $100.00
Bedford VFD $6,958.92
Blim, Clare & Kathleen $435.21
Bonnieville Fire Dept. $11,727.98
Boone Township Volunteer Fire Dept. $4,986.45
Bradsforville Fire Dept. $4,705.97
Breeding Fire Dept. $1,432.49
Buechel Fire Protection District $29,882.12
Camp Taylor Fire Dept. $55,456.58
Campbellsburg Fire & Rescue $8,385.34
Campbellsville / Taylor County Fire Dept. $28,262.42
Carrollton Fire Dept. $12,200.00
Census Bureau $7,827
Central Hardin FD $9,547.48
Charlestown FD $46,600.00
Children’s Calendar Cover Child winner – Sophia Evans
Chiller’s/Zesto’s Ice Cream $2,000.00
Clark, Evelyn $622.05
Clarkson Fire Dept. $5,211.36
Clarksville Fire Dept. $26,351.17
Columbia-Adair County Fire Dept. $26,961.50
Cross Country Distributing $50,052.00
Crusade Ambassadors $2,585.00
Dancensation Spring Fling $1,000.00
Diane Moore Dance Academy and Miracle Dancers $9,400.00
East 60 Volunteer Fire Dept. $12,970.15
East Grayson Fire Dept. $5,491.66
Eastwood Fire Protection District $12,118.20
Ekron Volunteer Fire Dept. $12,650.04
Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Dept. $23,205.48
Elizabethtown Fire Dept. $27,605.96
Eminence Fire Dept. $33,756.34
Fern Creek Fire Dept. $136,144.05
Flaherty Volunteer Fire Dept. $19,664.59
Georgetown Township Fire Protection District $23,777.76
Glendale Fire Dept. $5,202.48
Greater Clark County Schools $28,595.80
Greensburg/Green County Volunteer Fire Dept. $13,417.88
Greenville Township Fire Protection Dept. $23,599.46
Hardinsburg VFD $15,000.00
Harned Fire and Rescue $24,013.13
Harrison Township / Corydon Volunteer Fire Department $24,200
Harrods Creek Fire Dept. $12,072.22
Harvest Homecoming & New Albany Fire Dept. $20,668.65
Hazelwood Center $1,897.67
Heth Township VFD $5,342.41
Highview Fire Dept. $105,491.28
Irvington VFD $8,926.12
Jefferson County Public Schools $118,027.97
Jeffersontown Fire Protection District $34,000.00
Jeffersonville Fire Dept. $24,371.49
Jennings Township VFD $11,518.05
Kaelin Sisters $102.76
Kelly Knoop – Donation and Receipt of Buddy Award $4,650.00
Kentuckiana Corvette Club & Moose Lodge 5 $10,867.00
Knifley Area Volunteer Fire Dept. $311.70
Kosair Charities $150,000.00
Kentucky 86 Fire & Rescue $15,376.00
Lafayette Township Fire Protection District $107,070.44
LaGrange Fire and Rescue $35,294.51
Lake Dreamland Fire Dept. $47,397.20
Lake Jericho Fire & Rescue $3,641.85
Lanesville Fire Dept. $18,514.45
Larue / Hodgenville Fire Dept. $3,073.30
Leavenworth Crusaders $3,601.93
Lebanon Fire District $37,055.00
Lebanon Junction Fire Dept. $5,007.40
Leitchfield Fire Dept. $12,513.28
LG&E KU PPL Companies $217,641.00
Loretto VFD $4,001.17
Louisville Fire and Rescue $33,812.00
Louisville Football Youth $500.00
Louisville Low Rider $1,410.00
Louisville Street Rods $2,400.00
Louisville Triple Crown of Running $142,146.00
Lyndon Fire Protection District $19,885.06
Marion County Grand Total $50,343.02
McAlister’s Deli $77,145.70
McDaniels Fire Dept. $6,549.42
McMahan Fire Protection District $132,000.00
Meade County Fire and Rescue $15,874.31
Middletown Fire District $58,000.00
Milltown Volunteer Fire Dept. $16,199.51
Mitchell Johnson $100.00
Monroe Twp VFD $35,977.89
Mortenson Family Dental $10,000.00
Mount Eden VFD $12,401.69
Mt. Washington Fire Dept. $23,525.00
Muldraugh Fire Dept. $2,125.13
New Castle Vol. Fire & Rescue $311,787.63
New Chapel Fire Company $6,892.69
New Middletown Fire Dept. $10,092.00
New Washington VFD $27,509.00
Newkirk, Bill $1,610.09
Nichols VFD $14,564.62
Norton Healthcare $125,134.89
Nuss, Rosie $1,000.00
Okolona Fire Department – Milwaukee Tool Raffle Winner – Doc Gahafer
Okolona Fire Protection District $60,748.62
Palmyra Fire Dept. $10,640.06
Parkway Rehab & Nursing Center $1,215.00
Payneville Fire Dept. $23,298.32
Pewee Valley Fire Protection District $26,380.00
Pierce Polk Volunteer Fire Department $5,255.96
Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Protection District Total $297,555.93
Pleasureville VFD $12,192.46
Probilt Automotive, Keith Tennill $375.00
Radcliff Fire Dept. $16,000.00
Radial, Geo $10,000.00
Ramsey VFD $15,176.64
Raywick VFD $3,580.88
Republic Bank – Steve Trager $7,500.00
Rineyville Fire Dept. $8,628.13
Salem Fire Dept. $14,639.61
Sellersburg VFD $10,000.00
Shelby County Fire Dept. $77,746.02
Shelbyville Fire & Rescue $17,595.34
Shepherdsville Fire Dept. $27,270.99
Shively Fire Dept. $16,326.38
Simpsonville VFD $18,151.00
Sonora Fire & Rescue $8,650.51
South Oldham Fire & Rescue $49,470.22
Southeast Bullitt Fire Dept. $20,059.90
Southern Indiana Rehab $4,066.75
Sparkles & Spurs $1,889.08
Spencer County / Taylorsville Fire Dept. $21,000.00
Springfield / Washington County Fire Dept. $6,203.93
St. James Church $907.35
St. Marks United Church of Christ $2,000.28
St. Matthews Fire Protection District $58,213.00
St. Athanasius School Beta Club $1,219.87
Stephensburg VFD $6,249.00
Summersville Fire Department $4,431.17
Sunnyside Square Dancers $281.02
Superior Van & Mobility $6,300.00
Ted Throckmorton Memorial Golf Tournament $19,463.00
Texas Roadhouse $2,500.00
The Temple $4,000
University of Louisville – UofL Cares Campaign $15,185.90
Upton Volunteer Fire & Rescue $1,977.61
Utica Township Fire Dept. $8,191.15
Valley Creek Fire Dept. $36,030.00
Vine Grove Fire Dept. $9,987.54
Waddy Volunteer Fire Dept. $13,949.70
Wax Fire & Rescue $2,422.00
West 84 Volunteer Fire Dept. $3,884.21
Westpoint Volunteer Fire Dept. $5,639.34
WHAS11 Tour Kentuckiana Golf Card $2,500.00
White Mills Volunteer Fire Dept. $5,318.75
Willisburg Fire Dept. $2,781.75
Woodford County Fire Department $6,964.00
Zoneton Fire Protection District $94,369.19
It’s that time of year!
The Louisville Triple Crown of RunningSM presented by Novo Nordisk is a series of well-established road races of varying distances. In an effort to help more runners and walkers in the Kentuckiana area embrace a healthy lifestyle and achieve the goal of completing the three-race series, there are two more runs in the Louisville Triple Crown of Running series:
Rodes City Run 10K on Saturday, March 12th
Papa John’s 10 Miler on Saturday, March 26th
Go to the Louisville Triple Crown of RunningSM Web site by clicking here and register TODAY!
All three races benefit the WHAS Crusade for Children!
9th Annual Zoneton Fire Crusade Bass Fishing Tournament September 12
Click here to download an application for the Bass Tournament.
Lincoln Hills Caring Hands Loving Hearts fundraiser September 12
Zoneton Fire 5K for the Crusade September 20th
Click HERE to register for the Zoneton 5K today!
Kate’s Frogtown Hop September 26th
Click HERE for online registration.
Give Local Louisville October 1st – Donate to the Crusade!
CLICK HERE to donate to the WHAS Crusade for Children!
St. Matthews FD Rib Cook Off October 3rd
ALL RIBS will be PROVIDED for FREE for the cook off teams.
Click here for more details
South Oldham FD Fire Fest October 3rd
Highview Community Festival Antique & Custom Auto Show October 10th
Census Bureau’s Crusade Auction November 19th
Re-enroll & swipe your Kroger Plus Card for the Crusade
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW! REMEMBER TO RE-ENROLL EVERY AUGUST!
Shred for the Crusade
Your old paper could mean new money for the WHAS Crusade for Children. The owners of Greenway Shredding and Recycling have come up with a unique way to raise money for the Crusade. Drop your documents by the company’s Watterson Trail location and get them shredded for a donation to help children with special needs.
Greenway Shredding & Recycling
2318 Watterson Trail
Louisville, KY 40299
Phone: (502) 749-0390
20th Craig Drury Memorial Golf Scramble September 14
Click here to download an entry form.
Metro Arson reopening cold case involving firefighter death
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Glendale firefighter Jonathan French who was killed early on the morning of August 6, 2014.
Police said the Glendale Volunteer Fire Department was working a van fire at mile marker 87 on Interstate 65 in Hardin County when 25-year-old Jonathan French and his mother, 43-year-old Lisa French, were hit by a semi-truck.
He began collecting donations for the WHAS Crusade for Children in the 1960’s and later became the lead fire coordinator of all fire departments that raise money for the Crusade.
In the late 1970’s, Bill took on the effort of coordinating the growing number of fire departments that collect donations for the WHAS Crusade for Children each year.
Longtime Crusader Bill Greenwell passed away Saturday, July 19, 2014.
Bill was honored with the Buddy Award
He was awarded the “Buddy Award” in 2009. It’s an award given to someone who exhibits the true goodness of the WHAS Crusade for Children.
In an emotional presentation around 6:00pm Sunday June 7, 2009 in the WHAS-TV Studio H, Bill was also given an award to honor his daughter Diane “Dee Dee” Rizzo who died suddenly in 2008. The award is entitled the “Above and Beyond Award.”
From page 74 of the Crusade’s 50th Anniversary book, Miracles by the Million, Bill tells author Bob Hill, “At that time I think there was 80-some odd fire departments involved and it was getting unwieldy,” Greenwell said. “I thought to myself, ‘What am I going to do with 83 fire departments?’ That number has since grown to nearly 200.
Crusade Director Phyllis Knight asked Bill to serve as a liaison between WHAS and the fire departments. Which he did for many years. Bill Greenwell was instrumental for putting in place the Crusade for Children – fire department relationships that exist today. Bill stepped down from his role of lead coordinator in 2000.
In most recent years Bill, his wife Linda and family members have travelled to coordinate Crusade donation remote broadcasts in Columbia, Kentucky and Rough River State Resort Park. These two remotes have aired on WBKO-TV in Bowling Green for more than a decade and are hosted by morning weatherman Chris Allen. Area fire departments have expected to see the Greenwells each year.
He appeared on the 2014 version of the Crusade and had enough energy to participate in the traditional singing of “God Bless America” one last time to close out the Crusade’s 61st campaign.
Thank you Bill from the thousands you’ve touched and for your decades of commitment to the WHAS Crusade for Children.
More from Bob Hill’s interview
For the 50th annual WHAS Crusade for Children, Courier-Journal columnist Bob Hill wrote the book, “Miracles by the Millions” the 50th Anniversary of the WHAS Crusade for Children. He interviewed many people who had been part of the Crusade’s long history. One of those was longtime Crusade Fire Department Coordinator Bill Greenwell. Here’s a selection of what Bob Hill wrote:
In the late 1970s that co-coordinating effort fell into the capable hands of Bill Greenwell of the Highview Fire Department, who first became involved with the Crusade collecting at intersections.
In 1976 he assisted Middletown Fire Department Chief Bob Martin who had put together a crew of people to welcome firemen to the WHAS building.
“At the time I think there were 80-some odd fire departments involved and it was getting a little unwieldy,” Greenwell said. “Bob Martin left to go into business for himself and Phyllis Knight asked if I would put together the same crew and do the same thing.
“I thought to myself, what am I going to do with 83 fire departments?”
Greenwell’s job soon expanded to more than co-coordinating several hundred fire trucks for the Crusade weekend. Knight asked him if he would also serve as a liaison between WHAS and the fire departments, to get ideas and give the fire departments a voice so it would not seem as if WHAS was dictating the Crusade agenda. It was a job he would keep until the 2000 Crusade.
“We would go out year around and meet with the departments individually and tell them what was coming up.
“We would find out what their plans were. One thing we did initially was run a clearing house of sorts to keep neighboring departments, or at least departments close, from planning a function or a fundraiser at the same time.”
That co-coordinating meant Greenwell might have to tell one department holding a fish fry on a certain night that a nearby department had a chicken supper the same night – and could one of them change the date. He kept track of all the culinary events – and hundreds of others – in two, three-inch binders, served as binding arbitrator if need be.
The fundraisers were as varied as they were successful; dances, raffles, bake sales, street festivals and carnivals. One year eager firemen went into a Seventh Street Road nightspot where the female entertainment began selling kisses for $1. Not to be outdone, the firemen began selling kisses for $1, too. But mostly Greenwell had to co-ordinate less exotic fund-raisers, and in time the departments learned to co-ordinate them by themselves.
“Hopefully, everybody that planned something would check with me first,” he said. “I had notes on each department, they were all indexed and I had a master calendar.”
The other reason co-ordination was important was that as one fire department headed downtown toward WHAS – sirens screaming and lights blazing – it was important that neighboring departments were available in case of a fire.
“You can imagine what the publicity would be if a small community with maybe three trucks had its equipment and manpower downtown and a fire started,” he said. “Crusade would get the blame for it.”
So the Crusade began to establish “remote” telecast sites closer to the outlying departments, along with co-coordinating who would deliver the money-laden boots when.
One year in fact, when a tornado went through Pioneer Village and Zoneton in Bullitt County a few days before Crusade weekend, some Jefferson County firemen went to Bullitt County to collect money while the Bullitt firemen worked the cleanup.
All this work was above and way beyond Greenwell’s regular job as security director for Goodrich Chemical Company.
“It started out a few hours a week, but it ended up from February on becoming a 40-hour-a-week job, especially when you would get up toward the Crusade,” he said.
In the early 1980s, as the co-coordinating task became overwhelming, Greenwell set up a committee of seven area co-coordinators who would handle the day-to-day questions in their various departments and counties, then report to him.
Then Greenwell set up another co-coordinating committee at the WHAS end to handle traffic control, accounting and radio communications. Thus the happy invasion of siren-blowing firemen into downtown Louisville could be handled with some degree of almost military control.
“We would put their trucks where they had to be and make sure they came across the stage at the same time their truck rolled up for a camera shot. I think we had 13 or 14 people coordinating all that. We had checkpoints. We set up a command post.”
There were no military salutes – or secret handshakes. But no amount of organization could stifle the competitive juices between the various departments, each eager to top last year’s total, if not the neighboring department’s total.
In the Crusade’s early years it was usually the Archdiocese of Louisville, or General Electric, that brought in the most loot. Greenwell remembered one year when the Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Department learned in advance how much the Archdiocese had collected – and found itself about $800 short of being Number One.
“The Pleasure Ridge chief had people soliciting right here downtown,” Greenwell said. “They even went over to the Federal Building and were getting money out of the fountain.”
Greenwell said Pleasure Ridge Park has been the only department that kept it final total secret until it members walked out before the Crusade TV lights – a secret made possible because it had five departments within the one.
“Each one of the five stations is sort of run by a captain,” he said. “The captain runs the effort in each of the five, and the chief of staff co-ordinates it. No one captain knows what the other has done.”
Greenwell said truth and accuracy are often not associated with a fire department’s pre-Crusade declarations, either. Indeed, the Crusade often involves more sandbagging than the 1937 Flood.
Greenwell remembered one year when the Harrods Creek Fire Department chief, a good friend of his, was loudly complaining what a lousy year it had been raising Crusade money.
“Everyone keeps records as to how well they did on a Friday this year as opposed to last year,” Greenwell said, “and the chief told me ‘It’s not looking good. It’s terrible. We went to one of the most affluent subdivisions and instead of getting $100, $150 and $200 checks, we were getting coins.’ ”
Greenwell said he was practically depressed at his friend’s rotten luck. Then came Crusade Sunday – and the tune changed.
“Not only had he lied to me,” Greenwell said, “he came in with a record year.”
Each department has its own fund-raising techniques, he said. Edgewood would hold a street festival with booths, as would Camp Taylor. McMahan will hit the Crusade hard beginning two weeks before the deadline.
“It’s strictly an effort of love,” he said. “The only thing the departments really compete against is last year’s numbers. The worst thing a department can go through is to come in, go on stage and say, “We’re down from last year. That’s just something no chief wants to do.”
Greenwell said he has been to national conferences with other firefighters, has tried to explain the power and endurance of the Crusade to them, but “they just can’t fathom it.”
He told a story of working an Outer Loop and Old Shepherdsville Road roadblock in pouring rain. Many people travel that weekend with a cup filled with coins on the seat next to them, ready for the next roadblock at the next intersection.
“This one particular case, a man probably in his 80s,” Greenwell said, “He had a handful of change. We were standing out in the driving rain and I walked up to him with a boot, hat or whatever and he put his container on the seat, reached in his wallet, holding up traffic, and he got out a handful of bills.
“He said, “if you’re willing to stand out in this kind of heat and rain, you’re worth more than change.’”
As with many firemen, Greenwell also had a deeply personal story explaining what has driven him to be a part of 30 Crusades.
“The first three years I had been involved with the fire department collecting and road blocking. I had already instilled in my mind, ‘We’re out doing this for other people. That’s why we’re here.”
“Suddenly I got a call that my daughter had delivered premature twins at St. Anthony’s Hospital. They were 26 weeks. One was a pound and three ounces and the other was a pound and six ounces.
“They transferred them immediately to Children’s Hospital by way of a baby buggy – a special pediatric ambulance or premature ambulance they had there.
“Well when we got down there the next day the twins, of course, were under treatment in the little perambulators and all the machinery. We would look around and most of the equipment in there, including the perambulator they were in, had a chrome tag on it saying, “A gift from the Crusade for Children.”
The twins would grow up to be healthy, happy adults. Bill Greenwell was changed forever.
“All of a sudden I wasn’t doing it for anyone else anymore. I had gotten the benefits of it myself. And there’s probably not a department involved that hasn’t been touched by the Crusade in one way or another.”
About the Buddy Award
The Buddy Award is an honor given annually to a Crusade volunteer who exemplifies the spirit and dedication of Bud Harbsmeier. Bud retired in 2000 after serving 18 years as Executive Director of the WHAS Crusade for Children. The honor was created in 2001 by former Crusade for Children Executive Director Dan Miller. The honoree is one who captures the spirit Bud put forth during his tenure.[easingsliderlite]
See 300 photos on Facebook from Crusade weekend, just click here. (Stay tuned, more photos to come!)
See a complete list of the fire departments, organizations and companies that donated to the 2014 WHAS Crusade for Children, just click here.
Watch and learn about the Crusade’s storied history
Kentucky Telco teams up with Craig & Landreth
Donations for the 61st WHAS Crusade for Children continue to come in. Craig and Landreth Cars and Kentucky Telco Credit Union presented Crusade CEO Dawn Lee with a check for $5,900. For the second year in a row, Kentucky Telco donated $60 for every car loan generated by Craig and Landreth customers.
Resthaven Memorial Park donation
Carly Ruckriegel and Debbie Sherrill presented Crusade CEO Dawn Lee with a check for $3,805.22. The Resthaven Memorial Park staff and Boy Scout Troop Pack 175 raised the money over Memorial Day weekend by handing out flags for donations to the Crusade and by grilling hotdogs and hamburgers.
Milwaukee Tools raffle for 2015
Bailey Tools and the Okolona Fire Department are giving would-be carpenters the chance to win an instant workshop. Your raffle ticket could get you more than twenty Milwaukee tools. President of Bailey Tools, Steve Bailey gives you a look at what’s up for grabs. The drawing will be held June 6, 2015 during the 62nd WHAS Crusade for Children.
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.