Fire departments in Henry County are gearing up for another year of collecting money for the WHAS Crusade for Children.
Campbellsburg Fire Chief David Noe said despite the major setback of a fire at the Campbellsburg firehouse recently, the department will conduct its charitable effort as usual. “We’re not going to miss a beat this year,” he said. “We’ll just have to work a little harder.”
Noe said the department has set up a temporary facility at the former location of Southern States farm supply center at U.S. 421 and Kentucky 55. “There has been no lapse in service,” he said, “and we are back at full strength.”
Noe said firefighters will set up roadblocks and begin going door to door throughout the district collecting money for the Crusade beginning Memorial Day weekend, May 23. The district includes Campbellsburg, Port Royal, Sulphur and surrounding rural areas.
“Even though we hit a big bump,” he said, “we feel we shouldn’t do any less for the children.”
The fire district also will contribute profits from their Campbellsburg Day participation.
Noe said although an exact activity has not been decided upon, the fire department will participate in the festivities Saturday, June 6.
“We’ll be doing a fish fry or whatever we decided to do for town day,” he said.
Noe said to look for the department to set up on the back lawn for Campbellsburg Day.
Matt Woods of the Pleasureville Fire Department said their collection efforts for the venerable charity will begin June 1. “We will start going door-to-door in Pleasureville, Bethlehem and Defoe,” he said, “all over the area.”
Woods said the department also will set up donation roadblocks the following weekend beginning Friday, June 5.
“On Sunday we’ll take everything we’ve collected over to Shelbyville,” he said, “and turn it in.”
Eminence fire chief Gary Lucas said their collection efforts will begin Monday, June 1.
“We will start the house to house collections in the rural areas around our district and continue each evening,” he said, “then begin the city roadblock on Friday to run through the weekend.”
Lucas said the department will continue its tradition of rounding out the Crusade coverage by knocking doors in the city limits of Eminence on Sunday, June 7.
He said they also will gladly accommodate anyone who calls. “We will be glad to come by and pick up any checks or special requests,” Lucas said. “If anyone needs us just call the station at 845-7600 and leave a message.”
Chief Gene Raake of New Castle Fire and Rescue said his department will set up a collection roadblock at the four-way stop in New Castle the first week in June. “We won’t be canvassing in rural areas this year,” he said.
Raake said the department will sponsor a fish fry on Saturday, June 6 with all proceeds going to the Crusade for Children.
Raake also encouraged residents to purchase reflective metal house numbers from the department. He said the reflective numbers are especially important in rural areas where house numbers may be difficult to see. “It helps not only us, but any emergency vehicles to find addresses quickly,” Raake said.
The address plates cost $15 and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Crusade for Children. He said folks can call the department at 845-5757 and leave a message with name and address information to order.
Raake said the department looks forward to the annual event.
“We do it for the kids,” he said. “It comes back to the kids in the county through the school systems and agencies.”
School districts in Henry County reap the rewards of local fire departments’ efforts.
Eminence Independent Schools received a grant of $29,995 in 2008. Superintendent Don Aldridge said Special Education director Regina Wallace submitted the grant that allowed the district to install a Read 180 lab in the elementary school.
The computerized system helps students with comprehension and fluency. “It’s a reading intervention program that allows the children to work at their own pace,” Aldridge said. “Our students have done very well with it.”
Aldridge is thankful for the crusade funds and hopes the district will receive a grant again this year.
“It’s been fantastic for us,” he said. “We hope to put the same reading system in the middle school.”
Henry County Public Schools’ Director of Special Education Tricia Hosey said HCPS received $19,000 for a comprehensive vocational curriculum.
“Project Discovery is a career exploration class where students work through modules pertaining to a particular job,” she said.
Hosey said it is incorporated into middle and high school students’ schedules as a practical living option. She said the idea is for young people to learn about careers in which they have an interest. “It offers career development, skills training and lifelong learning components,” Hosey said.
Some of the jobs students may research are: law enforcement, animal care, graphic design, greenhouse technician, auto body repair, construction trades and food service. Teachers incorporate visits from people in the community who already work in those fields. “It helps build community relations,” she said, “and shows students there are job options in the immediate area.”
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