68th annual WHAS Crusade for Children raises $5.1 million

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:05 AM CDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) - WBKO participated in the 68th WHAS Crusade for Children over the weekend.

WBKO aired remote telecasts from Campbellsville on Saturday and Leitchfield on Sunday featuring Chief Meteorologist Shane Holinde and meteorologists Ethan Emery and Raquel Dominguez.

According to Crusade for Children, after an emotional weekend honoring fallen firefighters, communities in Kentucky and Southern Indiana came together for the 68th WHAS Crusade for Children to help make life better for children with special needs.

They add the weekend’s total was $5,100,000 for what is lauded as America’s most successful local telethon. The event concluded with the singing of “God Bless America.”

Since 1954, the Crusade has raised a cumulative total of $200 million.

2021′s telethon featured a virtual style WHAS Crusade for Children Variety Show on Saturday, June 5, hosted by WHAS11′s Shay McAllister and 840 WHAS Radio’s Terry Meiners and featured performances from JD Shelburne, magicians Lance Burton and Mac King, and more.

“The WHAS Crusade for Children continues to be a great demonstration of caring and coming together for the greater purpose of helping children with special needs. After an especially tough year with significant losses, we are amazed by the dedication of the firefighters and volunteers. A huge thank you to all who gave, the firefighters who worked tirelessly to collect, and the dedicated volunteers. Every penny really makes a difference, and we are so grateful for the continued generosity of this community,” said WHAS Crusade for Children President & CEO Dawn Lee.

100% of all donations raised during the weekend are returned in the form of grants to agencies, schools, and hospitals that make life better for children with special needs in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Nearly 60 percent of donations are collected by about 200 fire departments in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Fire departments became an integral part of fundraising for WHAS Crusade for Children in 1956 when Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Chief Ernie Bohler brought $400 on the Memorial Auditorium stage in Louisville and challenged all fire departments to get involved.

Tax-deductible contributions can be sent anytime to:

WHAS Crusade for Children

520 W. Chestnut St.

Louisville, KY 40202

Donations can also be made securely online on

To view a complete list of all groups that made donations live on the 68th Annual WHAS Crusade for Children, go to

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