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Watch for collectors, Crusade broadcast

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By Walt Reichert

Simpsonville Fire Chief Walter Jones likes to get a head start on collecting money for the Crusade for Children. On Tuesday night his troops were already manning the buckets at the intersection of U. S. 60 and Buck Creek Road.

This weekend, including today, the county's seven fire departments will make the final push for collections. They hope to top last year's countywide total of just under $187,000. Local fire chiefs are asking drivers to be on the alert for collections at the county's major intersections.

Firefighters will have to brave the heat and possible thunderstorms to reach their goal; forecasters are calling for temperatures in the 90s with a small chance of storms. Jennifer Skinner, with the county fire department, said she does not know how many firefighters, their friends and families will take part in this year's collection, but she has ordered 158 shirts for the volunteers.

The collection period will officially end on Sunday. Collection totals will be broadcast on WBKI, which is channel 7 on Insight Cable, channel 34 on satellite and the CW channel on antenna. The broadcast for local departments will play from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

The collection point this year is at Shelby County High School. Skinner said 17 departments will bring their collections to the high school. Shelby County's totals are likely to be shown later in the broadcast timeslot, Skinner said.