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Anderson firefighters make it easy to contribute

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Series of activities are planned to increase local collections

By Chris Hamilton

Anderson County firefighter Robert Gresham believes his and his fellow firefighters’ role in life if to do more than beat down flames. It’s to do good wherever it’s needed.

With that in mind, he and fellow firefighter T.J. Cline are taking the lead to enhance the effect an annual good deed the Anderson County Fire District does each year. If successful, the ACFD will significantly increase its collections for the Crusade for Children, that well-known Kentucky fundraiser that generates money for agencies, schools and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children.

“I don’t know how they partnered with the Crusade in the beginning but firefighters have a vested interest in their communities and this comes back to help the community,” said Gresham.

A common sight in June each year, firefighters man intersections with buckets to collect change from passing motorists. They knock on doors and spread the message of good will.

The annual telethon is also a familiar sight as people dump boots filled with change into large glass containers and read the names of large contributors.

In Anderson County, the bulk of the money collected comes from roadblocks, according to Gresham. That’s what he and Cline would like to change.

Gresham said they believe a year-round campaign with a variety of activities will give people more opportunities to add to the cause.

“We’re working with local businesses for donations of any kind,” he said. “Financial donations will go straight to the Crusade. Goods and services will be used for silent auctions and things like that to convert them to cash. That’s a big difference from years past.”

Today marks the beginning of the annual routine.

Firefighters will be at Walmart in the evening and Saturday during the day.

They will be collecting at Kroger Friday and Saturday.

Tomorrow, something new will be added to the mix.

Firefighters will be serving meals and washing dishes at Edwardo’s Pizza & Subs. Tips and a portion of the profits will be added to the ACFD campaign.

On Aug. 16, firefighters will wash cars for donations at the Soap Factory located at 1040 Bypass South, Lawrenceburg KY 40342.

Gresham said Hill of Beans Bar-B-Que next door will be cooking out and contributing a portion of those profits to the campaign as well.

It won’t stop there.

Gresham said he is working with Chrysler of Lawrenceburg to create a sales event around the Crusade and will entertain other activities that keep the Crusade and the local campaign growing year-round.

And since all collections from Anderson County come back to Anderson County, a unique feature of the Crusade, Gresham said he would like to know more about the people helped by their efforts.

“In a lot of ways, this is like going to a wreck,” he said. “We pull people out and they get taken away in the ambulance. We don’t know what happens on the back end.”

For more information, contact Gresham at 502.517.2612 or Cline at 502.680.7171.