About the WHAS Crusade for Children

The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc. established in 1954 by WHAS-TV, raises money for agencies, schools and hospitals to make life better for children with special needs.


of donations go to children


Million dollars raised


of children helped


Counties in Indiana and Kentucky


Years Running

Countdown to the 70th annual WHAS Crusade for Children
June 3 - 4, 2023
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Connect With #WHASCrusade

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The Renshaw Early Childhood Center on the campus of Western Kentucky University has received Crusade support since 2007. The “Big Red School” as it’s called, serves children of varying abilities from ages 15 months through kindergarten. The school’s goal is to prepare these children, whatever their abilities, to go on to school and be successful in life.

The WHAS Crusade for Children has granted Renshaw Early Childhood Center over $500,000 in the last 14 years from . The program not only helps special needs children but also allows for hands-on training for Western Kentucky University education students. Here’s a look at how Crusade grant money is being used to change young lives and preparing them to be successful.

It is with great sorrow that we are saying goodbye to one of the pillars in the history of WHAS11 and the WHAS Crusade for Children. Bud Harbsmeier passed away on Saturday, December 4th at the age of 86 after a courageous battle against kidney cancer. Bud was an award winning journalist for 20 years at WHAS11. In 1982 he decided to walk away from his news career and pursue a much different path.

He took over as the Director of the WHAS Crusade for Children and stayed in that role for the next 19 years. Bud retired from leading the Crusade in 2000 but he never gave up working for the children with special needs in #Kentucky and #Indiana.

Bud Harbsmeier is survived by his three sons: Curt, Craig (Paula) & Kent (Debbie) and 4 grandchildren Kristen Alvarez (Justin), Alexis, Kyle & Katlyn Harbsmeier.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Cards and donations can be sent to:
WHAS Crusade for Children
520 West Chestnut
Louisville KY 40202

Click here to make a secure online memorial donation remembering Bud.

Crusade for Children tribute

Watch this video tribute, produced by Phil Dunaway, as Bud talks about the WHAS Crusade for Children in his own words.

WHAS11 legacy

Click here to see a video and more about Bud’s life and WHAS career from WHAS11’s Doug Proffitt.

Courier-Journal story

Click here to read more about Bud’s life from this story in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Bud’s obituary

Click here to read Bud’s obituary and funeral arrangements.

We crusade for them.

In its first 69 years, the WHAS Crusade for Children has raised more than $205 million. Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the WHAS Crusade is able to return 100% of all donations to organizations that make life better for children with special needs in all 120 Kentucky counties and 50 southern Indiana counties. Fire departments raise more than 50 percent of the money each year by staging road blocks and other events.

Community Partners

WHAS Crusade for Children

520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202
502.582.7706 Phone
502.582.7712 Fax