BARTONVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s the highlight of the year for the students at Limestone Community High School.

Now in its 45th year, Limestone students hold contests over several weeks to raise money for EasterSeals Central Illinois, a service provider to kids living with disabilities.

The sunny weather was perfect for the closing assembly, which was held outside for the first time. It’s usually held in the gym.

“I mean look at this, what a beautiful day, beautiful opportunity, and these kids are out here busting their tails to raise money for those kids over there,” said EasterSeals board member Mark Scott.

This year they raised more than $47,000, with students unveiling the result to cheers and claps from the crowd.

“We were really surprised by our total, we really didn’t know how it would go, but we’re really proud of what we did this year,” said Malena Wade, student body president at Limestone Community High School.

She said the Student Council planned new events, like a golf outing, with COVID-19 safety in mind.

“This year it was a little different because we couldn’t do some of our previous events, so it was kinda difficult at first, but we worked through it, we found new events, ways to utilize outdoor space,” said Wade.

At the assembly, the losers of one of those events got covered in dessert.

“I have pie all over my face because unfortunately I lost the Battle of the Sexes contest,” said Charlie Zimmerman, assistant principal at Limestone Community High School.

Scott said their story deserves national recognition.

“These kids have raised over $1,085,000 in the last 44 years. This just doesn’t happen… This is what America is all about, people giving back, helping people, and it’s happening right here in Bartonville, Illinois,” he said.