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Representatives of the Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Dept. turn in $26,254.03 Sunday to the 61st annual WHAS Crusade for Children. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor

Crusade donations trickled in even after events

June 11, 2014 | 07:37 AM

Just like the mist that was reluctant to move out of the area Sunday, so too were the donors to this year's WHAS Crusade for Children.

Even as the last of 21 groups turned in their donations at the remote site in the Old Capitol Centre parking lot in Corydon, individuals were walking and driving up to make a contribution.

In all, more than $290,862 was turned over to the Crusade, now in its 61st year, at the Corydon location. Several groups, mostly fire departments and a couple of motorcycle clubs, updated their totals just before making their presentations.

By the time the Crusade telethon went off the air Sunday evening, $5,637,680 had been raised. (Last year's Crusade collected $6,001,342.)

In addition to roadblocks, yard sales and chicken dinners, other fundraiser events by Harrison County groups included a bass tournament hosted by the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Dept. at Patoka Lake.

Firefighter Chris Norman said the department, which collected $13,104.21 this year, plans to have another one in September and will host a car show in October.

Some donations were made following Cold Water Challenges. This relatively new activity involves the challengee to be on the receiving end of cold water in whatever creative method they choose (some are doused more than others). They then challenge others to do the same.

The Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept. said about $250 of its $20,001.21 came via way of Cold Water Challenges.

Scott Hutt of the Elizabeth VFD, said, "It is phenomenal what people will do."

That community, during a roadblock Friday, Saturday and half a day Sunday, donated $26,254.03.

The Lanesville VFD set a new record this year, turning in $19,426.30, Tony Combs, fire chief, said.

Donnie Allen, a firefighter and former WHAS employee who oversees the remote Crusade site in Corydon, was nervous that he might have to make good on a bet.

Allen had told members of the Lafayette Township FD that he would shave his head if they surpassed $100,000. Turns out, even with the $3,048.36 collected by Stephen Becht of Floyds Knobs, they were less than $7,000 shy of the mark, turning in $93,052.

Allen said the challenge was only for this year.

Chelsea Rabideau was the WHAS personality at the Corydon site, taking over for Adam Walser who had been at the site for about the last five years. Walser moved to Florida shortly after last year's Crusade.

Other departments and groups submitting their money in Corydon were: Harrison Township VFD, $17,550.51; New Middletown VFD, $8,248.59; Heth Township VFD, $5,012.66; Boone Township VFD, $4,370.87; Pierce-Polk Volunteer FD, $12,309.51; Salem Fire Dept., $9,260.72; Iron Eagles Riders motorcycle club, $900; Harrison County Heroes on Wheels, $410; Little Dawgs Motorcycle Club, $1,000; Payneville (Ky.) FD, $21,164.16; Meade County (Ky.) FD, $8,637.94; Ekron (Ky.) Fire Dept., $9,726.62; Flaherty FD, $17,906.48; Battletown (Ky.) FD, $2,527.04; and Georgetown Township Fire District, amount unavailable.

The Crusade telethon started in 1951 as a cancer fundraiser. It was expanded in 1954 to raise money to improve the lives of children in Southern Indiana and Kentucky.

Annually, grants are awarded to help improve the lives of children in 50 Southern Indiana counties and all of Kentucky's 120 counties.


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