June 13, 2003
The 50th annual WHAS Crusade for Children raises $6.3 million
Louisville, KY --The 50th annual WHAS Crusade for Children set a record for money raised. $6,307,583 was collected by firefighters and other organizations to help special needs children. That's the most raised in any year of the Crusade's history.
America's most successful local telethon began Saturday, June 7 at 1:30pm and concluded at 3:30am Monday, June 9. Parts of the 30-plus-hour broadcast were carried on a Kentucky statewide TV and radio network and worldwide on WHAS11.com.
On Saturday night, a near sell-out crowd in the Kentucky Center's 2,400 seat Whitney Hall was moved to standing ovations following performances by master magician Lance Burton, The Neville Brothers and Kenny Rogers. The 50th Crusade ended Sunday night with the traditional singing of "God Bless America" in WHAS-TV Studio H after the total was announced.
Shortly after 7:30pm Sunday, June 8, the Crusade reached another milestone.
As Highview Fire Department finished their report of collecting $435,000 (the most by any organization this year), the Crusade was just $1 short of having raised $100 million in 50 years for special needs children.
Deimitri Miles, 10, of Jeffersonville started the passing of a single dollar from person to person through the back lobby of WHAS-TV and into Studio H. The dollar traveled through the fingers of more than 40 people including firefighters, children, police officers and longtime Crusade volunteers like Ted Throckmorton, who has worked all 50 Crusades. It finally rested center stage in the hands of Crusade grant recipients Graham Maupin, 8, and Naudica Anderson, 7.
As Naudica dropped the dollar into a Crusade "fish bowl," confetti cannons erupted and the Crusade Combo played "One Dream...One Heart," the Crusade theme song. The tote board displayed "$100,000,000" and the Crusade had reached this magical milestone.
"It was a very emotional moment," said WHAS Crusade for Children Executive Director Dan Miller, "it's one we'll all remember."
A video replay of the "$100 million moment," a recording of "One Dream...One Heart" and more information is available online at www.whascrusade.org.
About the WHAS Crusade for Children
The WHAS Crusade for Children, established by WHAS-TV in 1954, raises money for schools, agencies and hospitals that help special needs children. Over the past 50 years, the Crusade has raised more than $100 million.
Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the Crusade is able to return 100% of all donations to organizations that serve special needs children in all 120 Kentucky counties and more than 50 southern Indiana counties. Fire departments raise more than 50 percent of the money each year by staging road blocks and other events.
Approximately 3 million children have been helped by the Crusade since 1954. The WHAS Crusade for Children celebrates 50 years of changing children's lives in 2003. The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
About WHAS11 and WHAS11.com
WHAS11 is the ABC network affiliate serving the Louisville, Kentucky area, a subsidiary of Belo Corp. Belo Corp. is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,800 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates news and information franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic region. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 16 markets) reaching 13.7 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates six cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo publishes four daily newspapers: The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include 34 Web sites, several interactive alliances, and a broad range of Internet-based products. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com. For more information, contact John Blim or Katina Whitlock at (502) 582-7706.