BLOOMINGTON, Ill (WMBD) — Hundreds of families went to the McLean County Fairgrounds for the 18th Annual Day of the Dozer.

The event provides educational and hands-on opportunities for children while raising money to combat the local high school dropout crisis.

Kids were able to interact with first responders and operate heavy farming and equipment machinery with trained operating engineers.

The director of development with Great Plains LIFE Foundation said the event seems to grow every year.

“It’s bigger this year than it was the last time. Always giving the opportunity for kids to try something new. To see something new. To enjoy something new,” Paul Segobiano said.

Proceeds from the event went to the Stay 4 Project. The Project has worked with more than 500 high school students, 97% of which have graduated.