Crowning Moment For Crusade

Photo By JAMES EATON | Contributing Photographer.

Photo By JAMES EATON | Contributing Photographer.

By ASHLEY ANDERSON
Staff Writer
The Voice-Tribune 

For the last 60 years, the people of Louisville and Southern Indiana have shown tremendous generosity toward a time-honored telethon. But, this year, they truly outdid themselves in support.

In honor of the 60th annual WHAS Crusade for Children, the Crusade staff set an unprecedented goal of raising $6 million, and the response, in turn, from the public was overwhelming. At the close of the two-day telethon, broadcast live on WHAS11, 84WHAS and whas11.com June 1-2, the grand total rounded out at an impressive $6,001,342. The amount surpassed last year’s fundraising total by about $800,000.

“I can’t say I’m surprised because this city and state and really Indiana too, this whole region, has shown us for six decades they’re willing to overcome challenges, and they know that taking care of these special needs children is the most overwhelming of tasks,” said WHAS personality Terry Meiners, who has worked the Crusade over the last 28 years and joked he’d like to beat former WHAS anchor Milton Metz’ record of hosting 60 consecutive Crusades. “I look at all those children as angels who are teaching us about benevolence and patience. … I’m just overjoyed that the community came through again.”

While the two-day telethon is the main highlight of the Crusade for Children, the effort to raise money for the cause takes place throughout the year with a variety of activities, from golf scrambles to cook-offs or 5 and 10K races, including the Louisville Triple Crown of Running.

This year, the Louisville Triple Crown of Running donated a record $190,126 to improve the lives of special needs children. The race series, presented by Novo Nordisk for the 10th consecutive year, consisted of three road races – the Anthem 5K, Rodes City Run 10K and Papa John’s 10 Miler – with nearly 30,000 runners participating in all three events. Since 2002, the Louisville Triple Crown of Running has contributed more than $1.22 million to the WHAS Crusade for Children.

 “We are so fortunate to carry the torch on behalf of all the participants, sponsors and volunteers who make it possible for all of us as a team to keep raising these extraordinary amounts each year in order to positively impact the lives of children in our community,” said Fred Teale, race director of the Rodes City Run 10K and marketing director of Rodes For Him and For Her. The Rodes City Run 10K, held on March 23, contributed $55,000, alone, to the Crusade for Children.In addition to the races and other fundraising festivities held year-round, local fire departments go above and beyond to raise money for the cause. Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Protection District topped the Kentucky fire departments in donations with $318,002.40, while Lafayette Township Fire Department brought in the most of Indiana fire departments with $85,873.21. Other top-raising organizations include the Archdiocese of Louisville ($260,000), LG&E/Kentucky Utilities ($187,548), Norton Healthcare ($136,620.35) and Jefferson County Public Schools students and staff ($136,575.95).

One hundred percent of each donation to the WHAS Crusade for Children goes toward agencies, schools and hospitals that better the lives of special needs children. Since 1954, the Crusade has helped change the lives of millions of children in Kentucky and Indiana by raising more than $148 million.

“Every year when I drive away I am so touched by what I’ve just seen by the preceding two days,” Meiners said. “There’s so many hardworking great people, men and women who work on the Crusade because it’s touched their family or has touched their heart, and people just show up. You just know that human beings are good creatures every time you see this Crusade.”

The WHAS Crusade for Children is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts are tax-deductible. To make a secure online donation, visit www.crusadeforchildren.org or call 502.582.7706.

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051.