Monday, June 06, 2005

My Hometown

There are times when being a native of Louisville has its perks. Most people would think it's not that great of a place, but I can certainly find the silver lining of every cloud. Mostly known for our alliance with North and South as a neutral state, and the running of the Kentucky Derby, there's another annual activity here that kicks off the summer -- the Crusade for Children.

The Crusade began in 1954 by Barry Bingham, Sr., owner of The Courier-Journal (our local newspaper), WHAS-TV (one of our local network affiliates), and 84WHAS Radio (a local AM station). The focus of the Crusade was to hold an annual telethon to raise money for special needs children in the area. Volunteers from all of the Bingham companies would stay up for hours on end to run the show, on air, and behind the scenes. Partnering with all the volunteer fire departments in the community, road blocks would be set up and fire engines blazing to collect pennies, nickels, dimes, and huge checks from across the community to help children who couldn't help themselves. Events throughout the year would raise money and anyone who walks the streets of Louisville for long knows that when you say "The Crusade" you aren't talking about the Middle Ages.

Since its inception, the Crusade has helped over 3 million children - astonishing. Many generations have been touched by the Crusade, which causes an automatic endowment as families give in honor of those that were helped. Go to any of our pediatric units in town and you'll find some piece of whiz bang medical machinery with an inscripted plate that reads, "Donated by the Crusade for Children."

I've volunteered for the Crusade for over 10 years. Sometimes selfishly to admire the cute fireman, but I always leave there with a warm feeling in my heart and a pride for my hometown. Last night we ended the Crusade raising 5.3 million dollars, with another million in money from wills to be added to that total before it is over. I was proud to be a Louisvillian and a volunteer for the Crusade as I stood on the stage for the final curtain call singing God Bless America.

13 comments:

Dana said...

I have another friend who lives in Louisville. Everyone calls her Beej. Louisville is a beautiful city and we drive through lots of times on our way down to Bama. My favorite part is crossing the bridge on I-65 and seeing the city on the other side.

RosieBoo said...

We do have a pretty cool skyline, Dana. For a smaller town that is. :)

I'm heading to Alabama for July 4th weekend...Phenix City to be exact!

Kevin said...

I like our skyline here, but the best two skylines that I have seen are the one coming into Nashville (of course...especially if you drive by the coloseum formally known as adelphia), and driving up 75 going to cincinatti. as you come over a huge hill, you drive down to the city. it is pretty picturesque (sp?) as you look at it over the river.

A.J. said...

Although I am not a native Louisvillian, I am proud to call it my home now. It may not be the most exciting place in the world, but it is much much better than that dreadful place I'm from--Ohio. I'm glad that you take pride in this great city.

RosieBoo said...

Kev,

Nashville looks even better while crusing on the General Jackson showboat! And, when I used to drive to Cincinnati for a former job, I loved the feeling I got when I topped that hill on the way to the city.

AJ,

There are definitely worse places than Louisville! I'm pretty proud of my hometown, and wherever I go, I'm glad to call this home.

Denny Burk said...

For what it's worth. Skyline or no skyline, Susan and I miss all of you in Louisiville.

Luf,
Denny

Kevin said...

Rose,

i really love it at night...when the Bat Building is all lit up and stuff...it is pretty great.

Denny,

Awwwwwwwwe we miss you two too dog. I was just recently reminiscing about the good ole "Waterson Elementary" days, when the college class was over there on Sunday mornings. I kind of miss those days sometimes.

RosieBoo said...

Denny,

Awww, we miss you and Susan too. Thank goodness for technology or we'd miss your smiling face.

Kev,

I love the Bat Building...it gives Nashville that Gotham feel...

Dana said...

You know I have to admit though...Chicago does have a gorgeous skyline...for a yankee city. LOL I do like seeing it when I occasionally have to go downtown, which isn't often.

Dana said...

I have some friends from Phenix City. That's over by Auburn (shudder) LOL

RosieBoo said...

Dana,

Don't shudder, but GO WAREAGLE! I'm much more an Auburn fan than Alabama. And, yes, my friend goes to Auburn. Her husband is the Youth Minister at Ft Benning.

Jules said...

OK, a couple of comments here...being a Louisville native living in Dayton, my kids are quite familiar with the illuminated city in a valley (Cincinnati). We are usually coming through there back to Dayton in the evening or after dark, and my six-year old always gets excited and yells "New York City!!!" Imagine what he'll do when he sees the REAL NYC next month! (I haven't even been there yet myself...)

RE the Crusade...if you really want to "experience" the Crusade, do roadblocks with one of the fire depts. I don't know what the legalities of that are...I was with an auxiliary to one of the FDs when I did it, so I'm not sure if there are "insurance issues" or not...but it was a WAAAAY cool experience that I'll never forget. And Rosie, you are correct about the way it began with Mr. Bingham, but the FD thing began when the PRP FD collected money, and went on air and challenged all the other depts to meet or beat what they'd done, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Firefighters...sigh. I just have such tremendous affection for all things related to firefighting. I especially wish Yankee Candle would come out with a candle that smells like the diesel/sooty smell of a firehouse bay. Oh MAN, how I dig that smell!! Weird, I know. But, I'm a fire department brat, and it's one of those smells that just transports me through time, and I'm a child again...wandering around one of those Louisville fire houses...wishing like heck that my Dad would spring for a (GLASS) bottle of coke or pepsi or whatever!!!

I always wanted (secretly) to be a firefighter, but was "forbidden" from such a thing, and now as an adult, I understand it was for good reason. Yes, I have very little upper-body strength, which is beyond necessary for the job...but it's just a heinous job at times. My father witnessed things that I can't fathom. And I don't know about these things because HE told me. In nearly 40 years, I think I've heard him tell about three stories about his job. I know that he didn't want me to do this not just because I'm a girl, but because I'm HIS girl...and he wanted more for me. He saw the gore and grim realities associated with the job and didn't want me exposed to that. I understand that and honestly, he's right and I'm grateful...but I still get a pang in my heart when I see an engine or a ladder truck on a run...wanting to be in that jumpseat...to be stomping around in those hot, heavy boots!! I did get to go to a training fire once, and got to be on a line, and man, that was just soooooo cool!! But I don't think folks realize the kind of water pressure that is coming through those lines....I had to SIT on it to control it!!! Anyway, I'm rambling, and this is not my own blog...but I just wanted to throw in my two cents worth...okay, this was more than that...but well...okay...shutting up now.

RosieBoo said...

Jules,

Thanks for the entry! I miss you so!!!!