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Prices at the pump have little impact on Crusade

Prices at the pump have little impact on Crusade
Prices at the pump have little impact on Crusade
Kylie Hutt, 5, and others from the Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Dept. dumps coins into a collection box Sunday for the annual WHAS Crusade for Children. Her two sisters, partially hidden, Kaitlyn, 2, and Kenzie, 3, changed their mind about helping. (Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor)

With escalating gas prices and higher prices for other things, such as some food items, many firefighters were expecting their collections for the 55th annual WHAS Crusade for Children to be down this year.
‘I’d say we’re down about 5 or 6 percent this year,’ Stanley Coffman estimated late Sunday morning while waiting for the other members of the Heth Township Volunteer Fire Dept. to arrive at the Old Capitol Centre in Corydon, a remote site for the Crusade telethon.
‘People said they needed their money for gas and eats,’ Coffman said.
But when the Heth Township firetrucks rolled in a short time later, the members reported their donations at $7,746.31, up $361 from last year. Collections were accepted at a roadblock Friday, Saturday and for a little while Sunday morning, along with a bake sale held earlier by the fire department’s auxiliary members and from the sale of aluminum cans the children had collected.
Several other fire departments dumping their coins and bills in Corydon also reported larger donations than last year.
Ramsey VFD reported the largest increase ‘ $1,202 ‘ of the nine Harrison County fire departments. In fact, firefighter Steve Whittaker updated their total at least twice while they were waiting in line, as people were handing them donations in the parking lot.
‘We busted our buns,’ he said of this year’s efforts. ‘We just hit everybody. We left no door unknocked on.
‘The first two weekends (of roadblocks), we didn’t think we were going to do well,’ he said. ‘Then bam! It was really cool.’
Temperatures weren’t exactly cool Sunday, with the high approaching the 100-degree mark.
Members of the Leavenworth VFD sought relief in the shade.
Chief Dave Wilkins, participating in his 35th Crusade, said it wasn’t their biggest year but it was a good one. They were up $341 over last year, bringing their total to $12,080.78, from a first-time yard sale, the annual coon hunt and roadblocks.
The biggest increase, though, was reported by Marengo-Liberty Volunteer Fire Dept. They gained $3,294 over last year’s $12,508.66, thanks to a generous $5,000 donation from the Stults Foundation.
Phil Jones, chief, said they had ‘a big Crusade night’ at the firehouse that included a pie-throwing event. ‘We were hoping to beat all other county departments,’ he said.
In Kentuckiana, more than $5.2 million was collected for the Crusade, which helps children with special needs in 50 Southern Indiana counties and all of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
Palmyra firefighter Nathan McClure and his wife, Dana, know first-hand how expensive equipment purchased with Crusade money helps people. They were in Corydon Sunday with their son who was born 10 weeks early. He received care at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville until he was able to go home to his parents.
Other Harrison County fire departments and their amounts were: Boone Township, $3,466.70; Elizabeth, $18,510.95; Harrison Township, $15,546.58 (which included $61.69 ‘pennies from Heaven’ recently swept up along Capitol Avenue); Lanesville, $12,877.76; New Middletown, $6,521.39; and Palmyra, $5,282.66.
Several other departments also made their donations in Corydon, including Lafayette Township, which collected $51,886.53.
Milltown-Whiskey Run Township VFD traveled to Louisville, as always, to make its presentation of $7,740.
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