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Spare a buck?

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By Lisa King

County firefighters are getting ready to begin collecting for the annual Crusade for Children fundraiser.

Shelby County Firechief Bobby Cowherd said he hopes the event will take in as much as last year's total of $186,791. The Crusade, which was begun in 1954, is an annual telethon broadcast by WHAS-TV and WHAS-AM in Louisville. The telethon benefits a wide range of childrens' charities throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Local fire departments are the backbone of collection efforts. Most of the donations come from road blocks set up at hundreds of intersections throughout the region, where firefighter and volunteers ask motorists for donations.

The Crusade is normally held on the first weekend of June each year, beginning on Saturday afternoon and ending on Sunday night. This year's date is set for June 6,7 and 8.

Shelby county fire departments are expected to conduct their fund efforts in the same way as previous years, except for the Simpsonville Fire Department, which according to firechief Walter Jones, is changing its methods of collecting.

That department will only be doing one house-to-house canvas this year and it will be within the city limits of Simpsonville. The department will also be adding a couple of more locations for road blocks, the chief said.

"The reason behind the changes are the rising cost of fuel and in the recent years, getting enough people to come out and work this great fundraising benefit for the special needs children of Kentuckiana," he said. "Please work with us in this new concept of sending out letters instead of running four or five vehicles each night for an entire week. The cost benefit of sending out letters will offset the cost of fuel and will help in the burnout issue for the volunteers that come to help."

This year in Simpsonville, people can either mail in their donations or drop it off at one of these three road blocks which will start on Tuesday, June 2, and run through Saturday, June 7: The intersection of Anderson Lane, Aiken Lane and Todd's Point Road daily from 6-9 p.m.; Henry Veech and First Day Lane on Fisherville Road with the daily time frame of 6-9 p.m.; the intersection of Buck Creek Road and Citizen Boulevard on U.S. 60 (Shelbyville Road) with the daily time of 2-9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; Then, on Saturday, June 7, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the final day will be on Sunday, June 8, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Jones said people may also drop off donations at their churches and may call 722-5617 for more information.

In addition to the road blocks, county firefighters, other than the Simpsonville Department, will be out in force the weekend before the Crusade to collect donations.

Locally, some of the children that the Crusade benefits includes those in the Shelby County public schools, the Dorman Center and Child Towne.

The telethon will be broadcast on Sunday, June 8, from noon to 6 p.m. on WBKI-TV, which is CWLouisville, on Channel 7 on Insight Cable, Channel 34 on antenna, Direct TV, Pegasus and Dish satellites.

Locally, the telethon will be broadcast from Shelby County High School on Sunday, June 8, from 1:30-4 p.m.

2007 Crusade for Children figures

Totals for the county and city collections from last year's Crusade collection.

County:

Bagdad--$15,930

East 80--$13,078

Mt. Eden--$11,400

Simpsonville--$26,034

Shelby County--$68,784

Will to Crusade--$25,000

Shelby Total--$93,784

Cities:

Shelbyville--$16,015

Waddy--$10,547