Street solicitation could end in E-town, affecting WHAS Crusade for Children

It could be the end of street soliciting in Etown

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For Joey Scott, the WHAS Crusade for Children is a labor of love.

"It's 100 percent for the kids and that's what we're about," Scott told WHAS11.

As the volunteer fire chief of Valley Creek and Hardin County's Crusade director, he looks forward every year to fundraising which he believes first started in Elizabethtown in 1965.  "There is nothing more rewarding working these roadblocks as when a recipient of a Crusade pulls up and that mother is in tears and they brought that recipient down. The Crusade helped them survive to put money in the bucket or the boot," he said.

Elizabethtown Police say the roadblocks are becoming more of a safety issue.  "No matter how you slice it, these collection check points do create traffic bottlenecks," said Public Information Officer John Thomas.

Eighteen permits were issued to solicit in the streets, including the WHAS Crusade for Children, last year.  Twenty-six were issued this year. Police say it's causing an increase in crashes with the city averaging about 140 a month. The vast majority, according to police, happen at the roadblocks.

"Certainly, if the city council makes the decision in the interest in public safety, that we need to do away with these checkpoints, it's going to be important to find workable solutions," Thomas said.

One of the solutions could include more of a focus on online fundraising.

"We are not going to abandon the Crusade. We will continue to collect," said Elizabethtown Fire Chief Mark Malone.

The Elizabethtown, Central Hardin and Valley Creek fire stations raised around $70,000 for the Crusade this year and will continue the Crusade's mission of helping special needs children.

Crusade leaders say they will be at the city council discussion on August 14.  Police say if the ban is approved it likely wouldn't take effect until next year.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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