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Crusade collectors, donors awesome

My Opinion

June 18, 2014 | 02:55 PM

The generosity of people in this area never ceases to amaze me.

This was evident again earlier this month when the fire departments from Harrison and neighboring counties, on both sides of the Ohio River, along with some other groups, turned in their collections to the WHAS Crusade for Children at the remote location set up in the Old Capitol Centre parking lot in Corydon.

This year, which was the 61st annual Crusade, more than $290,862 was turned in by at least 21 groups in Corydon.

Question of the Week
Do you know anyone who has been aided by the WHAS Crusade for Children?
In case you're not familiar with the Crusade, the telethon was started in 1951 as a fundraiser for cancer research. It was expanded in 1954 to raise money to help improve the lives of children in 50 Southern Indiana counties and all of Kentucky's 120 counties.

Crusade dollars have been used by hospitals to purchase expensive medical equipment that has saved the lives of countless babies, including some right here in Harrison County.

That's just one example of how the money, which has totaled in the millions through the telethon's history, is used.

Firefighters in the region are huge supporters of the Crusade. Their fundraising efforts vary from department to department, with each finding their own way for what works for them. Some host fundraisers — chicken dinners, softball tournaments, yard sales, etc. — at various times throughout the year; others may devote a couple of weekends to the cause. Some collect door to door, and, in general, they all can be found standing at intersections in their neighborhoods as Crusade weekend approaches — despite rain or blistering heat — to take whatever anyone wants to give them.

And those donors, how awesome are they?! Some save money throughout the year specifically to give to the Crusade. Others, like Stephen Becht from Floyds Knobs, have their special way to raise funds.

I've witnessed our local fire departments turn in their contributions nearly each year since 2001, when the Corydon site was added, and there is always at least one person who approaches a firefighter or a volunteer to make a last-minute donation. At this year's collection, on Sunday, June 8, there seemed to be an exceptional number of people who stopped by to make a contribution. Some walked up; another drove up.

And it's that kind of generosity that shows how special the Crusade is to people.

Local donations range anywhere from a handful of change to a few hundreds of dollars. And while many donors may think their contribution isn't much, it's amazing how quickly it adds up and the impact it can have.

So, next year, during the first full weekend of June, when you see firefighters or other caring individuals collecting for the 62nd annual WHAS Crusade for Children, won't you consider making a donation? You just never know when a family member, neighbor or friend may need assistance that equipment funded by the Crusade can provide.

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email