Recap of the 2017 WHAS Crusade for Children

2018 Crusade coming soon!

The 65th annual WHAS Crusade for Children is set for June 2-3, 2018. Mark your calendars. Take your vacation days. To get inspired, below are highlights from 2017.

See hundreds of photos!

Hundreds of photos from the 64th annual WHAS Crusade for Children are waiting for you on our Facebook page just click here.

A surprise for James!

James Sattler of Floyds Knobs, Indiana is the winner of the 2017 Milwaukee Tool Power Shop raffle presented by Bailey Tools and Safety and Milwaukee Tools. Sattler purchased the ticket at Harvest Homecoming in New Albany last fall. Steve Bailey of Bailey Tools, Jessica Ohnesorge of Milwaukee Tools and Stan Ferguson from Okolona Fire District presented the tools to James on Friday, June 16, 2017 at Bailey’s South Shelby Street location.

Ferguson, the special Crusade Coordinator for Okolona Fire Protection District organizes the raffle each year and sells tickets at events across Kentuckiana.

Special gift boosts final tote board to $5.5 million!

Honor your pledge and mail it to:

WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202

You can also donate securely online any time by clicking here.

Sam Swope Family Foundation gift lifts Crusade tote board to $5.5 million

The Sam Swope Family Foundation presented a donation of $36,707.23 on the day after the 64th annual WHAS Crusade for Children to boost the final tote board total to $5.5 million.

“We are presenting this donation in honor of the kids who receive the benefits,” said Marlys Swope.

“Sam Swope has a long legacy of giving in this community, and we are so grateful his family has continued the tradition. Each year we get more requests than we can fill, so this gift from the Sam Swope Family Foundation will allow more children to get the help they need,” said WHAS Crusade for Children President & CEO Dawn Lee.

The people of Kentucky and Indiana came together and dug deep for the 64th annual WHAS Crusade for Children. Donations poured in and tallied to $5,463,292.77 as America’s most successful local telethon came to a close on Sunday, June 4.

The 30-hour Internet/radio/telethon was highlighted by a variety show headlined by Louisville’s own Carly Johnson and hosted by WHAS11’s Rachel Platt and 840 WHAS radio’s Terry Meiners on Saturday, June 3. The late broadcast legend Milton Metz was remembered with special tributes for being a fixture on the Crusade from its beginnings in 1954. It concluded with Crusade volunteers crowding into WHAS-TV’s historic studio H singing the traditional “God Bless America” just before 7:00pm (EDT) Sunday, June 4, 2017.

“Every year I continue to be amazed at the way this community comes together to help children with special needs. The wonderful people of Kentuckiana stepped up once again, making the 64th WHAS Crusade for Children a success. This kind of generosity will make a very real difference in the lives of so many children,” said WHAS Crusade for Children President & CEO Dawn Lee following the telethon.

100 percent of $175 million for the kids
In its first 64 years, the Crusade has raised over $175 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 in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

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.

The Leaders
Nearly 60 percent of donations are collected by about 200 fire departments in Kentucky and Indiana. Pleasure Ridge Park (PRP) Fire Protection District’s total was $271,383.69. PRP started fire department involvement with the Crusade in 1956 when Chief Ernie Bohler brought $400 on the Memorial Auditorium stage in Louisville and challenged all fire departments to get involved.

Like last year, the top Indiana fire department was Lafayette Township Fire Department with $100,400.60.

Also repeating from last year, the Archdiocese of Louisville led all non-fire organizations with a total of $291,000 in contributions.

Top 5 Kentucky Fire Departments

Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Protection District $271,383.69
Highview Fire Protection District $247,623.65
McMahan Fire Protection District $143,059.80
Northeast Nelson Fire Protection District $137,643.67
Fern Creek Fire Department $126,534.23

Top 5 Indiana Fire Departments

Lafayette Township Fire Department $100,400.60
Charlestown Volunteer Fire Department $56,040.02
Monroe Township Fire Department $51,100.76
New Albany Fire Department & Harvest Homecoming $35,059.52
Georgetown Township Fire Protection District $29,113.77

Top Organizations

Archdiocese of Louisville $291,000
LG&E KU PPL Companies $221,884
Norton Healthcare $132,638.50
Jefferson County Public Schools $113,054.23
Kosair Charities $100,000

So many to thank
The annual Crusade Internet/radio/telethon kicked off at 1:00pm (EDT) on Saturday, June 3 and aired in its entirety on WHAS Radio (AM 840), WHAS-TV (Channel 11.1) and worldwide on

In addition, WBNA-TV 21.1 in Louisville aired live broadcasts 12:30pm to 6:30pm Sunday, June 4 from the Kentucky cities of Elizabethtown, Shelbyville and Bardstown. WBKO-TV in Bowling Green aired remote telecasts from Campbellsville on Saturday and from Leitchfield on Sunday.

Television Network
WHAS-TV, Louisville (flagship station)
WBNA-TV, Louisville
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green

The WHAS Crusade for Children’s flagship radio station for 64 years, 840 WHAS carried the broadcast continuously.

Radio Network
WHAS, Louisville (flagship station) provided LIVE video streaming of the entire broadcast visible anywhere in the world. posted up-to-date information throughout the weekend.

Internet Network

Honor your pledge and mail it to:

WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202

You can also donate securely online any time by clicking here.

About the WHAS Crusade for Children
The WHAS Crusade for Children, established by WHAS-TV in 1954, raises money for schools, agencies and hospitals that make life better for children with special needs. In its first 64 years, the Crusade has raised over $175 million. Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the Crusade returns 100% of all donations to organizations in all 120 Kentucky counties and more than 50 southern Indiana counties. Fire departments raise nearly 60 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.

Who gave how much? It’s all listed here!

Here is an alphabetical list of fire departments, groups and organizations that appeared on the 64th WHAS Crusade for Children.

AMVETS Post 61 $2,600.00
Anchorage Fire & EMS $4,457.09
Anchorage Schools $1,527.62
Anderson County Fire Protection District $7,733.86
Annetta Fire Department $2,713.60
Archdiocese of Louisville $291,000.00

Bagdad Fire Department $14,784.25
Ballardsville Fire & Rescue $18,000.00
Baptist Health Unified Campaign $37,390.40
Bardstown Fire Department $18,327.14
Bedford VFD $8,409.15
Blim, Clare & Kathleen $1,500
Bonnieville Fire Department $11,756.00
Bonnieville Fire Department Quilt Raffle Winner – Yvonne Gibson
Boone Township VFD $5,713.63
Borden-Wood Township FD $4,197.58
Boston Volunteer Fire & Rescue $8,393.03
Bradfordsville Fire Department $4,121.35
Breeding Fire Department $1,556.90
Buddy Award Honoree – Charlie Strickland
Buechel Fire Protection District $33,079.76

Camp Taylor Fire Department $52,721.56
Campbellsburg Fire & Rescue $20,889.21
Campbellsville/Taylor County Fire Department $26,599.36
Central Hardin Fire Department $7,254.55
Charlestown Fire Department $56,040.02
Chick-fil-A $7,528.00
Chillers & Zesto Ice Cream $2,620.22
Clarkson Fire Department $5,523.42
Clarksville Fire Department $26,531.00
Cloverport Fire Department $1,543.43
Columbia-Adair County Fire Department $30,497.99
Corydon Fire Department $29,113.77
Cross Country Distributing – Steve Hancock $75,177.00

East 60 Volunteer Fire Department $13,800.16
East Grayson Fire Department $6,086.30
Eastwood Fire Protection District $17,154.15
Ekron Volunteer Fire Department $6,304.26
Elizabeth VFD $26,210.42
Elizabethtown Fire Department $15,025.54
Eminence Fire Department $26,565.80

Fairdale Fire Department $33,751.23
Fern Creek Fire Department $126,534.23
Flaherty VFD $17,731.24

Glendale Fire Department $6,087.79
Greater Clark County Schools $28,493.24
Greensburg/Green County Volunteer Fire Department $14,226.51
Greenville Township Fire Protection Department $24,457.38

Hardinsburg City VFD $26,026.98
Harned Fire & Rescue $26,513.13
Harrison TWP VFD/Corydon VFD $21,058.39
Harrods Creek Fire Department $9,390.72
Hazelwood Center $648.56
Heth Township Volunteer Fire Department $6,064.31
Highview Fire Department $100,528.64
Hodgenville Fire Department $4,110.32

Irvington VFD $6,464.51

Jefferson County Public Schools $113,054.23
Jeffersontown Fire Protection District $21,485.81
Jeffersonville Fire Department $28,030.65
Jennings Township VFD $15,569.75

Kaelin, Lauren & Allison $201.71
Kentuckiana Corvette Club & Moose Lodge 5 $12,277.73
Kentucky 86 Fire & Rescue $11,548.13
Knifley Area Volunteer Fire Department $740.20
Knoop, Kelly $5,025.00
Kosair Charities $1,000,000 (multi year pledge)

Lafayette Township Fire Protection District $100,400.60
LaGrange Fire & Rescue $32,521.86
Lake Dreamland Fire Department $40,000.00
Lake Jericho Fire and Rescue $3,060.00
Lanesville VFD $17,006.06
Lebanon Fire District $37,442.00
Lebanon Junction Fire Department $4,372.14
Leitchfield Fire Department $12,291.67
Lexington Indiana Volunteer Fire & Rescue $2,576.50
LG&E KU PPL Companies $221,884.00
Loretto VFD $4,487.50
Lorne Ballard $17,225.00
Louisville Fire & Rescue $21,308.16
Louisville Low Riders $1,365.00
Louisville Street Rods $3,349.98
Louisville Triple Crown of Running $77,886.00
Louisville Youth Football League $1,000.00
Lyndon Fire Protection District $29,445.80

McAlister’s Deli $65,794.28
McDaniels Fire & Rescue $7,686.75
Mckenna Stewart $345.72
McMahan Fire Protection District $143,059.80
Meade County Fire & Rescue $11,674.56
Middletown Fire District $57,329.00
Milltown Volunteer Fire Department $13,345.44
Miracle Dancers $14,600.00
Money Handlers $1,230.00
Monroe Township VFD $51,100.76
Mortenson Family Dental $10,000.00
Mt Washington Fire Department $24,000.00
Mt. Eden VFD $11,562.60
Muldraugh Fire Department $4,284.49

Nelson County Fire and Rescue $10,188.27
New Albany Fire Department & Harvest Homecoming $35,059.52
New Castle Volunteer Fire & Rescue $11,319.25
New Chapel Fire Company $7,051.52
New Haven/Rolling Fork Fire Department $10,449.69
New Middletown Fire Department $8,208.37
New Washington Volunteer Fire Department $27,610.58
Newkirk, Bill $1,615.81
Nia’s Lemonade Café $322.10
Nichols Volunteer Fire Department $11,323.02
Northeast Nelson Fire Department $137,643.67
Northwestern Mutual $20,000.00
Norton Children’s Hospital – Norton Healthcare $132,638.50
Nuss, Rosie 1,162.50

Okolona Fire Department Tool Raffle Winner: James Saffler
Okolona Fire Protection District $61,263.93

Pacers & Racers $7,500.00
Palmyra Fire Department $9,430.23
Parkway Rehab & Nursing $1,400.55
Payneville FD $23,631.46
Pewee Valley Fire Protection District $20,400.33
Pierce Polk Volunteer Fire Department $7,080.55
Pleasure Ridge Park FD $271,383.69
Pleasureville VFD $9,223.38
Probilt Automotive $479.00

Radcliff Fire Department $14,142.51
Radial $6,387.86
Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department $11,928.83
Raywick VFD $2,325.17
Republic Bank $7,500.00
Rineyville Fire Department $14,146.01

Salem Fire Department $10,009.09
Sellersburg VFD $17,828.00
Shelby County Fire Department $82,133.92
Shelbyville Fire & Rescue $16,100.71
Shepherdsville FD $25,060.89
Shively Fire Department $19,344.76
Simpsonsville VFD $13,135.49
Sonora Fire & Rescue $10,022.50
South Oldham Fire & Rescue $53,721.38
Southeast Bullitt Fire Department $20,712.87
Southern Inidiana Rehab Hospital / Cathy Stewart $2,562.91
Spade Family $64.00
Sparkles & Spurs $1,358.85
Springfield/Washington County Fire Department $6,579.90
St. Athanasius Beta Club $1,063.17
St. Mark’s United Church of Christ $1,027.20
St. Matthews Fire Protection District $53,403.11
Stephensburg Volunteer Fire Department $2,143.36
Summersville Fire Department $4,443.81
Superior Van & Mobility $6,400.00

Taylorsville/Spencer Co. VFD $24,675.00
Ted Throckmorton Golf Tournament $17,264.00
Texas Roadhouse $2,000
The Temple $5,000.00

Upton Volunteeer Fire & Rescue $1,504.54
Utica Township Fire Department $7,061.35

Valley Creek Fire Department $31,680.00
Vine Grove Fire Department $26,551.00
Visually Impaired Preschool Services $2,000.00

Waddy Volunteer Fire Department $10,078.38
Wakowski, Charles and Judith – John Locke Memorial Gift $100
Wax Fire & Rescue $2,447.36
Webster Area Volunteer Fire Department $3,805.33
West 84 VFD $4,149.12
West Point Fire Department/Ambulance $39,039.37
Westport Fire Department $3,770.89
WHAS Crusade for Children Endowment $175,000.00
White Mills VFD $3,289.60
Wilkins Family $4,916.10
Willisburg Fire Department $3,585.00

Zoneton Fire District Bass Fishing Tournament $4,729.00
Zoneton Fire Protection District $78,089.58