BARTONVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — Limestone Community High School students on Wednesday kicked off their 45th annual campaign for Easterseals Central Illinois, a charity that provides services to individuals with disabilities.

For two weeks each year, the students participate in various events and raise money for the organization. The student council is responsible for putting the campaign together.

Last year, they raised more than $72,000.

“Limestone, we really come together and become one, and we work together and it’s an important thing to Limestone, so it’s important to me and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said student body president Malena Wade.

And its personal for Gavin Buskirk, Limestone’s student body treasurer.

“Easterseals really changed me. I have a sister with some special needs…she goes to this school actually so she’s kind of involved in all this stuff. So it means a lot more to me than most kids [because] they don’t understand what it takes,” Buskirk said.

The kickoff and closing assemblies are typically held in the gym, which is decorated along with the rest of the school, and Easterseals families attend to share their stories.

But this year, the kickoff assembly was pre-recorded and viewed by students during homeroom.

Wade said they added new outdoor events in order to make the campaign COVID-friendly this year.

“We added a golf tournament, added a wiffle ball tournament, and a bags tournament because they wanted us to utilize the outdoor spaces so we did more outdoor things,” she said.

“This year we all have to stay six feet apart obviously…we’re all trying to put together videos and stuff like that to try to make events possible for what can do for the kids,” added Buskirk.

Students hope to be just as successful as last year despite the challenges surrounding the pandemic.

“We can’t have a lot of our events that normally bring in a lot of money for us, we are definitely working around all that, creating new events and everything, so I still think we are still going to have a really successful year,” said Jadyn Swan, student body secretary.

To donate and learn more about the campaign, visit the school’s website.