NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A local radio group kicked off its 5th annual fundraising effort for Central Illinois troops Thursday morning at the Corn Crib.

Great Plains Media owns Cities 92.9, 107.7 The Bull and Magic 99.5 for five years have hosted the Seat for Soldiers campaign. Radio personalities from all three stations began a 36-hour marathon broadcast from the Corn Crib at 6:00 a.m.

The group is asking people to donate to the non-profit, Hope for the Warriors, an organization that provides support and services to Central Illinois military veterans.

A $10 donation puts a flag on a seat at the ballpark and “reserves” it for a service member.

Catrina Petersen, program director at Cities 92.9 said it started as a way to show the stations’ love and support for those who serve and sacrifice so much for our freedoms.

“Last year, we surpassed our goal, we made $27,000 for Hope for Warriors, and they help local veterans right here in our community, central Illinois. All the money stays here and helps our veterans locally,” Petersen said.

Petersen said all funds collected stay in the area.

“They have got all kinds of programs, I know they’ve got clinical services; they’ll take a veteran and they’ll train you in a new position, how to find a job and they even have a service that’s kind of similar to Indeed,” Petersen said.

Hope for the Warriors also offers veterans financial assistance, mental health services and transportation.

Petersen said their goal this year is to raise $30,000 for the organization. Those who wish to donate can do so in person at the Corn Crib or by texting SEATS to 77000.