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Crusade results reflect pandemic

Crusade results reflect pandemic Crusade results reflect pandemic
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

While many fire departments and other groups reported their totals for the 67th annual WHAS Crusade for Children were down from last year, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, there were exceptions.

Of Harrison County’s nine fire departments, Ramsey’s collection amount was $18,680.38, up from $11,867.24 last year.

Fire chief Chris Woertz said they had roadblocks and went door to door to collect for the Crusade, which helps children in need in Southern Indiana and Kentucky.

He reported numerous donations were made in memory of Paul (Pete) Martin, one of the founders of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept. back in 1961. Martin passed away Feb. 19 at the age of 89.

Also reporting a considerable increase was the Milltown VFD, which submitted its donations in Louisville rather than at a remote satellite at the Old Capitol Centre in Corydon.

Last year, the department collected $9,739.69. This year’s total was $16,285.

Crusade weekend generally is the first one in June; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was moved to Aug. 8 and 9.

The Wilkins Crusaders of Leavenworth also fared better this year, turning in $5,723, efforts through a lemonade stand. Last year, the family of the late Darren W. Wilkins collected $5,554.

Danny Stults, chief of the Heth Township Volunteer Fire Dept., reported a total of $7,503.43, up slightly from the previous year’s $7,405.

Stults said Kent Garmon, whose late father, H. Cecil Garmon, served many years as fire chief, was at the roadblock during the evening on Aug. 7 helping.

Of the top 10 organizations in Southern Indiana, six either were from Harrison County or submitted their receipts at the Corydon site.

Coming in at No. 2 on the list was Lafayette Township Fire Dept., which had a record year in 2019 ($118,161), collecting $48,322. With the department were family and friends of the Stephen Becht, who collected for the Crusade for 51 years before his death on Oct. 24 at the age of 62. They carried on the tradition and raised $7,420.

Elizabeth VFD was fourth on the list, with $29,391. Chief Scott Hutt said that amount, down from last year’s $31,200.46, wasn’t bad considering the pandemic.

“It’s the community we live in,” he said. “They’ve been very generous this year.”

Ramsey VFD was No. 5, and Milltown was No. 8.

In ninth was Greenville VFD, which was up, submitting $14,677.41. Because of COVID-19, the department created a drive-thru at the firehouse to accept donations.

And rounding out the top 10 was Lanesville, with $13,215.13, down from last year’s total of $14,720.90. Assistant fire chief Tony Combs said he was “surprised” how well they did. He said the department was dedicating its donations in memory of one of their firefighters’ wives who died a few weeks earlier.

New Middletown VFD chief Mike Riley reported receiving $6,632.33 this year, down from last year’s total of $9,274.30. He said they were not able to have their annual pancake breakfast due to the pandemic and have decided to cancel this fall’s annual fire supper.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to do them next year,” Riley said.

The volunteer fire department in Palmyra also had to cancel several fund-raising events it had planned for 2020 to benefit the Crusade.

Capt. Aaron Simpson said they still collected $7,547, down from last year’s $9,739.69.

Jeff Hess, chief of the Boone Township VFD, turned in $3,053.86; last year’s total was $5,464.56.

Wrapping up Crusade Sunday in Corydon was the Harrison Township Fire Dept., which was upping its total right until the last minute. The dollar amount Karen Lopp told WHAS reporter Rob Harris was $10,680.48, down from 2019’s $25,567.12.

Other Southern Indiana fire departments/groups turning in Crusade money in Corydon (and the amount) were Georgetown Township FD ($9,309.28), Tri-Township, a new department that covers the Sellersburg area ($6,195.20) and Washington County’s Posey Township VFD ($2,304.90).

Traveling across the Ohio River to Corydon to drop off their collections were Ekron VFD, which received a $50,000 donation from an individual ($63,238.30; up from $8,774.56), Flaherty FD ($17,746.55, down from $17,776.38), Payneville FD ($11,461.29, down from $11,118.03), and Meade County VFD ($7,667.24, up from $4,290.77).