Limestone & Easterseals
100% Included. 100% Empowered.
By the numbers alone, Limestone Community High School’s support of Easterseals Central Illinois serves as the leading example of the power of youth in philanthropy. In the program’s 45-year history, they have raised a cumulative total of $1,135,750.21. A staggering $858,716 has been raised in the last 24 years, with the last two annual totals being $50,023.21 (2021) and $72,026.45 (2020). What this school does is more than a fundraiser; it is a community-wide embrace of philanthropy, instilling a culture of giving in students at an early age.
This program at Limestone Community High School has engaged over 10,000 students during their high school career, and that number will continue to grow. Heading into the 2021-2022 school year, the school is gearing up for its biggest philanthropic year to date, with the goal of reaching a cumulative total of $1,000,000 raised for Easterseals Central Illinois. The impact of this support on Easterseals over the last 45 years is hard to quantify. But with the average cost of an hour of therapy at $165, their support translates to over 5,400 hours of pediatric therapy to kids in central Illinois.
Over the annual, two-week campaign, the school and community host dozens of events, kicking off and ending with a school-wide assembly that celebrates Easterseals beneficiaries. Easterseals families are honored like celebrities, moving parents to tears and making the kids feel like super stars. The program includes other events such as, teeter-totter-thon, 3 on 3 basketball games, Rocketman Pageant, a food fair and more. They recruit local businesses and restaurants to participate, activate their athletic program and fans, and embrace rivalries with a battle of the sexes. Outside of this program, they have created and hosted an all-ability, family-friendly haunted house in the fall to which they invite Easterseals families.
“I have had the honor to attend the opening and closing assembly for almost 20 years now. It is by far one of my favorite weeks of the year. The stories I have heard and the relationships built, words can’t describe the feeling you get during the assembly,” said Mark Scott, Past Chairman of the Easterseals Central Illinois Board. “If I have said this once I have said it 1000 times, there is no other school in this great country that has such a long tradition. It doesn’t get any better seeing kids give back to kids”.
This program is the embodiment of Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. The leadership of the students at Limestone Community High School has continued this program for over 45 years, making it more financially successful each year. Their financial impact on Easterseals Central Illinois and the community as a whole is astounding. However, the unseen layers of this program are the most impactful. Limestone students become lifelong advocates for inclusion, disability awareness, and community philanthropy. These students are seeing how impactful they can be when they volunteer, donate and activate for a cause.
So much more than an annual fundraiser, it has become engrained in the identity of the Limestone community. This program is truly seeding generations of community-minded philanthropists, as some of central Illinois’ most engaged philanthropists cite their experience at Limestone as the foundation for their giving.
- High school students kick off the 45th annual campaign to raise money for individuals with disabilities
- High school students raise more than $47,000 for EasterSeals Central Illinois
- Limestone Community High School students continue Easterseals fundraising traditions
- Local students continue the tradition of raising money for Easterseals
For news stories prior to 2017 please contact Mpedigo@eastersealsci.com