Reprinted from the Owensboro Times – August 16, 2018
In 1954, WHAS-TV, an ABC-affiliated TV station in Louisville began the WHAS Crusade for Children. The annual telethon, hosted on radio, internet and television the first full weekend of June, benefits a wide range of children’s charities throughout all of Kentucky and southern Indiana. The Crusade returns 100 percent of its profits to organizations who apply for grants. Representatives also appear before a panel and once complete, the advisory panel determines which agencies receive Crusade donations.
The WHAS Crusade for Children announced the 2018-2019 grant awards, of 229 grants, beginning September 2018. Five Owensboro organizations are recipients and more than $66,000 in funding returning to the area through service.
Dawn Lee, President & CEO of the WHAS Crusade for Children shares “For 65 years, the WHAS Crusade for Children has been changing the lives of children who have special needs through awarding grants to agencies, schools and hospitals across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Thanks to the year-round fundraising efforts of firefighters, churches, businesses and individuals, the Crusade has raised more than $184 million since 1954. The best part is that 100% of that total has gone back into communities to make life better for these children. Every effort is made to ensure money raised in your community is returned to help local children through the grant awards.”
The program funded over $5 million to eligible organizations.
Owensboro beneficiaries of the grant are:
Dream Riders ($5,000.00)
Owensboro Dance Theatre ($13,000.00)
Owensboro Health Foundation, Inc. ($18,000.00)
Puzzle Pieces ($18,000.00)
Wendell Foster ($12,594.00).
With funding from WHAS, Executive Director of Dream Riders of Kentucky, Kelly Flick says they are able to provide 24 weeks (2-12 week sessions) of therapy to 24 riders (12 per session) at a subsidized cost to families by trained instructors. This allows Dream Riders to provide 288 equine-assisted therapy sessions to riders ages 3 years and older with a disability, making a great impact.
The Owensboro Health Foundation, Inc. will utilize their award to purchase a NextGen LOGIQ Digital Ultrasound System for use in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
“We are most appreciative of this generous support from WHAS Crusade for Children,” said Pat Serey, Owensboro Health Foundation executive director. “Use of this technology will result in enhanced and life-saving care for sick newborns at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.”
“Umbilical venous catheter (UVC) is a specialized IV (intravenous catheter) that can be used in premature babies and sick newborns while in the neonatal intensive care unit. The UVC is used to provide life-saving medications, antibiotics, intravenous nutrition, blood products, and for blood sampling,” said Dr. Bridget Burshears, medical director of the Level III NICU at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. “The use of this new technology will allow for real-time assessment during the placement of the catheter and decrease the exposure to X-rays, which are currently used. This grant allows us to add yet another piece of state-of-the-art equipment to use in the care of our smallest and most vulnerable patients.”
The WHAS grant awards also benefit areas surrounding Owensboro/Daviess County. Additional counties include Breckenridge ,Hancock, McLean and Meade County organizations. Funding positively impacts the entire commonwealth. WHAS Crusade for Children is good for children, good for Owensboro and good for Kentucky.
At the birth of their son, Christian, the Wilson family was told he wouldn’t live more than a few hours. The family refused to give up hope. With the help of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and the WHAS Crusade for Children, the Wilson’s faced what they call the longest night of their lives.
In his time with the therapists at the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Harlan and now at the Hyden location, Christian has worked consistently to overcome the effects of cerebral palsy. The family is truly grateful for Christian’s continuing progress.
Since 2014 the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has received $56,000 in Crusade grants to help youngsters like Christian.
The WHAS Crusade for Children annual variety show originates LIVE from The Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater. Each year, different genres of music are presented as people come together to make life better for children with special needs.
Michelle Sydnor & Friends sang the roof off The Kentucky Center with their rendition of Total Praise at the 65th WHAS Crusade for Children Variety Show.
Freelance journalist Alan Beisler and photographer Larry Bartsch take you on a tour behind the scenes of the 65th annual WHAS Crusade for Children at the WHAS11 studios in Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday, June 3, 2018. He introduces you to donors and volunteers who make the Crusade an annual labor of love and support from the community.
This Letter to the Editor was published in the July 20, 2018 edition of The Courier-Journal. It was written by Brennen Lawrence, chair of the WHAS Crusade for Children board and CEO of Cuddle Clones.
It is an honor and privilege to be a part of the WHAS Crusade for Children for over 30 years, initially getting involved through the fire service. For the past nine years, I have served on the board of directors, acting as the chair for the last three years. My appreciation for the generosity of the people in Kentuckiana has grown tremendously during this time.
For 65 years, the annual phenomenon known as the Crusade has been an important part of this community. Once again in June, we all came together for the kids, making it possible to award 229 grants this year, totaling $5,675,000. We are proud to continue the tradition of returning 100 percent of the contributions to hospitals, schools, and agencies throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
The Crusade Advisory Panel is a group of interdenominational ministers (rabbis, priests, pastors and reverends) who determine the grant allocations each year. This year was especially difficult, with $14.9 million in requests.
This year, charitable gifts from the people of Kentuckiana will be visible through many worthwhile projects and programs serving children with special needs. Your donations will be allocated to:
• 137 agencies and programs serving children with special needs
• 47 school districts throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana
• 14 individual schools that are not part of a district
• 16 hospitals throughout the region
• 9 capital projects
• 6 universities for scholarships designated for special education teachers
This would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of firefighters, who remain the heart of the Crusade. This effort also includes so many children, parents, churches, synagogues, businesses and schools who have personally collected. It is humbling to see the depth and breadth of the grants that are possible this year due to such great compassion. As a result, many children who have special needs will get the help they deserve.
Board of Directors
WHAS Crusade for Children
Learn more about the Crusade
The WHAS Crusade for Children funds more than 200 agencies, schools and hospitals each year. These funds help make life better for children with special needs.
Funding from the WHAS Crusade for Children is giving the Family Enrichment Center a boost in resources to serve children’s needs during difficult times through their Parents as Teachers program.
Since 2007 the Family Enrichment Center has received $117,000 in Crusade funding to help families.