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Although collection efforts for the WHAS Crusade for Children began last weekend the Shelby County Fire Department, firefighters around the county say that activity will be in full swing by today.
“We had a roadblock last Saturday [on Taylorsville Road], and we started our door-to-door collections last night, and I think some of the other fire departments did, too,” Shelby County Fire Chief Bobby Cowherd said.
He said he had positive feedback from his volunteers about the generosity of the public this year.
“They said that it looked promising and that people were giving a little more,” he said.
Shelbyville Fire Chief Willard “Tiger” Tucker said his department stepped up efforts earlier in the week.
“We started door-to-door last night [Tuesday], and we will do door-to-door throughout the week within the city, and we will start our roadblocks on Friday through Sunday,” he said.
“Last night was a pretty good night; for the most part everybody we met door-to-door was very upbeat, they seemed to be really to help out.“
WHAS since 1954 has hosted an annual telethon to raise money for special-needs children. That first year, the event raised $156,725, and last year, that amount had grown to $5,189,348, with $148 million being raised in those 59 years.
Though collections by the crusade were down in general last year, by 2 percent, they were up by 3 percent in Shelby County, from $133,927 in 2011 to $138,560 in 2012 – a trend that fire chiefs here say they hope carries over to this year as well.
“We usually don’t set a goal. We just try to match what we did last year,” Cowherd said. “With the economy up and down, and not fully recovered yet, some people are still having tough times.”
One thing there’s no shortage of is volunteers to collect for the Crusade, Cowherd said.
“We have plenty of people come in, and their families come in to help, too,” he said.
Tucker said he hopes people will welcome firefighters as they come collecting this weekend and also that they will give generously at roadblocks and through the telethon as well.
The annual Internet/radio/telethon will kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday on WHAS-Ch. 11 and WHAS-AM (840).
Charlie Metzger, co-owner of Metzger’s Country Store in Simpsonville, said he wants to remind everyone that his annual yard sale, held in the parking lot of his store each year, with a portion of proceeds going to the crusade, had to be postponed because of rain, and so it will be held this Saturday instead.
Metzger he has been holding his barn and basement sale for the past 10 years to benefit the crusade, and so far this year, has about 20 families lined up to participate in the sale. The only thing is, he said, he really hopes the weather will hold out this weekend for the event.
He said he wouldn’t make a final decision until today after lunch.
“People are welcome to call the store [722-8850] to check on that if they have questions,” he said.
How to donate
PUBLIC COLLECTION: Fire departments in Shelby County will set up roadblocks and go door-to-door through the weekend
MAIL: WHAS Crusade for Children, 520 W. Chestnut St., Louisville, 40202
TELETHON:1 p.m.-Saturday until late afternoon Sunday on WHAS-Ch. 11 and WHAS-AM (840)