June 7, 2007

54th annual WHAS Crusade for Children tops $5.1 million

Louisville, KY - When it was all said and sung, the people of Kentuckiana donated $5,169,387 to the 54th annual WHAS Crusade for Children to help children with special needs.

The 31-hour Internet/radio/telethon kicked off with a stirring variety show headlined by The Kentucky Headhunters and hosted by WHAS11's Melissa Swan and 84WHAS radio's Terry Meiners Saturday June 2. It all ended with Crusade volunteers crowding into WHAS-TV studio H singing the traditional "God Bless America" at 8:20pm (EDT) Sunday June 3, 2007.

"The annual tradition of communities supporting children with special needs continues making this miracle possible!" Said WHAS Crusade for Children CEO Rebecca Jackson. "We are so grateful!"

100 percent of $123 million = $123 million

In its 54 years, the Crusade has now raised more than $123 million for children with special needs. 100 percent of all donations raised Crusade weekend are returned to the communities where children's needs are met.

It takes a cast of thousands to stage the annual miracle. From individual donors dropping pocket change into boots at firefighter road blocks to children with lemonade stands to corporations offering payroll deduction, it all comes together each year on the first weekend in June.

The leaders

More than 50 percent of donations are collected by about 200 fire departments in Kentucky and Indiana.

As in 2006, Pleasure Ridge Park (PRP) Fire Department led the charge with donations totaling $287,344. PRP was the fire department that started it all in1956 when Chief Ernie Bohler brought $400 on the Memorial Auditorium stage in Louisville and challenged all fire departments to get involved.

Also repeating from 2006, The Archdiocese of Louisville led all non-fire department donors with a total of $241,355.00 in contributions.

So many to thank

The annual Crusade Internet/radio/telethon kicked off at 1:30pm (EDT) on Saturday, June 2 and aired in its entirety on WHAS Radio (AM 840), WHAS-TV (Channel 11), WHAS-DT (Channel 55) and worldwide on WHAS11.com.

In addition, The CW Louisville (WBKI-TV Insight Cable 7) aired live broadcasts noon to 6:00pm Sunday, June 3 from the Kentucky cities of Elizabethtown, Shelbyville and Bardstown.

"Congratulations to all for the superb coordination, fine work, and passionate support of the WHAS Crusade for Children," said Carol LeFever, CEO of Cascade Broadcasting Group (WBKI's owner).

"It was an honor and a pleasure to work with everyone again this year," said Mike Kanarek, Vice President of Operations for Crusade Network affiliate WKYT-TV in Lexington. "WKYT is proud to help."

As the Crusade for Children's flagship television station for 54 years, the WHAS11 News station carried the entire broadcast. Portions also aired on a Kentucky statewide network.

Television Network

WHAS-TV, Louisville (flagship station)

WBKI-TV, Louisville

WKYT-TV, Lexington

WBKO-TV, Bowling Green

WYMT-TV, Hazard

WQWQ-TV, Paducah

The Crusade for Children's flagship radio station for 54 years, 84WHAS carried the broadcast continuously. In addition, the Commonwealth Broadcasting radio stations listed below aired the Crusade variety show Saturday, June 2 from 8:00 to 11:00pm (EDT):

Radio Network

WHAS, Louisville (flagship station)

WTCO, Campbellsville

WLBN, Lebanon

WBRT, Bardstown

WIEL, Elizabethtown

WHHT, Bowling Green

WTTL, Madisonville

WPKY, Princeton

WHAS11.com provided LIVE video streaming of the entire broadcast visible anywhere in the world. WHASCrusade.org posted up-to-date information throughout the weekend.

Internet Network



To honor a pledge

Tax-deductible contributions can still be sent anytime:

WHAS Crusade for Children

P. O. Box 1100

Louisville , KY 40201

To view a complete list of all groups that made donations to the 54th annual Crusade, go to 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 make life better for children with special needs. In its first 54 years, the Crusade has raised more than $123 million. Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the Crusade returns 100% of all donations to organizations 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, 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 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 7,100 employees and $1.6 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates in some of America's most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic and Rhode Island. Belo owns 20 television stations, six of which are in the 15 largest U.S. broadcast markets. The Company also owns or operates seven cable news channels and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo's daily newspapers are The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). The Company also publishes specialty publications targeting young adults, and the fast-growing Hispanic market, including Quick and Al D a in Dallas/Fort Worth, and El D and La Prensa in Riverside. Belo operates more than 30 Web sites associated with its operating companies. Additional information is available at www.belo.com. For more information, contact John Blim (502) 582-7706.