Local fire departments are encouraging residents to dig into their pockets this weekend for the final push for the annual WHAS Crusade for Children.

A remote television broadcast is from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Elizabethtown Com­mu­ni­ty and Technical College’s campus, said Hardin County coordinator Joey Scott, where area departments turn in money they collected.

According to its website, The WHAS Crusade for Children Inc., established in 1954 by WHAS-TV, “raises money for agencies, schools and hospitals to make life better for children with special needs.”

Scott said 100 percent of the money raised in Hardin County for the Crusade, goes back into the community. In the past, the Crusade has given to Hardin Memorial Health, Hardin County Schools and Elizabethtown Indepen­dent Schools. The money also goes toward num­erous other organizations geared toward assisting children.

Last year was the first year fire departments in Elizabethtown and Radcliff were unable to use roadblocks for fundraising. Scott said, as a result, they were down more than $35,000, in contributions. He said it’s possible this year could see another decline in money raised in Hardin County.

Despite not being able to hold road blocks, Scott said several of the departments have gotten creative with how they raise money. For example, Scott said Valley Creek Fire Department is having a Daddy-Daughter Dance from 6:30-8:30 p.m. today at Pritchard Community Center. Tickets can be purchased at the door or people can contact Samantha Sawyer at 270-234-7773. Tickets for a couple cost $25. Each additional child costs $5.

“It’s going to be a really fun evening. It is something new we started this year. I think it would be really neat for people to come out,” he said. “We’re just trying to get creative in new ways of raising money for the Crusade.”

Mike Satterfield of the Elizabethtown Fire Department said it’s been tougher to raise money without roadblocks, but residents and organizations of the city have been striving to do their part.

He said they received a check of more than $6,000 from the Elizabethtown Heritage Council, which they raised from the BBQ, Blues and Bikes Thunder into E’town ride, another check of about $11,000 from Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, money from city workers who decide to donate straight from their salary, a check from the Elizabethtown Junior Women’s Club and more.

“I can’t speak enough about the citizens of Elizabethtown and just organizations within Elizabethtown for how much they pull together and help out,” he said.

Although there will be no roadblocks in Elizabethtown or Radcliff, Scott said roadblocks are planned this weekend for Sonora, Upton, Glendale, Vine Grove, West Point and Rineyville, as well as by the Ky. 86 Fire Department, Ky. 84 Fire Department and Stephensburg Fire Department.

Vine Grove Fire Chief Steve New said they generally only collect today, Saturday and Sunday. They will have a roadblock set up in downtown from 8 a.m. to midnight today and Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

“(Crusade for Children) is really a good cause. One of the best causes I know of. ... Every dime you spend is actually spent back into the community,” he said, noting they’ve actually had two or three children in their community who directly benefited from it. “I’ve never minded donating money to this cause because I’ve seen and know it does a good job.”

Those unable to make it to a roadblock in Hardin County or to the turn in event Sunday, Scott said they can call him at 270-763-2850 and he’ll come pick up their checks for the cause.

Satterfield said residents also are welcome to bring checks for the Crusade to any of the Elizabethtown fire stations.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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