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Crusade Hopes To Move Beyond Barth Controversy

by Gabe BullardFirefighters will be out across the region this weekend collecting for the Crusade for Children, and Crusade officials are hoping donations won't be hurt by a recent scandal.Former McMahan Fire Chief and Crusade board chairman Paul Barth was indicted in April for allegedly misusing money meant for the Crusade. Crusade president Dawn Lee says Barth's case was an unfortunate, but isolated, incident. To move past the scandal, the organization has reviewed its internal controls over money, and Lee says firefighters have been working to clear the charity's name."The firefighters are our eyes and ears and arms and legs out in the community and I think they've done a great job of answering questions as they come up and we've had several meetings with fire departments, just trying to make sure everybody's on the same page," she says.Some firefighters were collecting for the Crusade last weekend, but this weekend will be the main push for departments in the area. Lee says she won't know whether donations are down until after all the money is counted next week.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.