The Alton High Redbirds basketball team will be riding in style on Friday when it travels to and from the school.

The Alton Redbirds Facebook page put out a Go Fund Me campaign to charter a bus to the game and was successful at collecting enough in 24 hours to accomplish that.

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Sandy Smith, wife of Alton head coach Eric Smith, coordinated the campaign. She had a contact with Vandalia Charter Bus Service who offered a discount for the Alton group and it was successful.

“We set up a Go Fund Me account and shared it on Facebook and before we knew it we had nice donations,” Smith said.

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Smith is an employee at the Bank of Edwardsville and at the Alton office funds were collected to help fund the charter bus trip. Rotary Riverbend also made a good contribution, Smith said. There were several small donations and parents who also stepped up and contributed.

“It all worked out,” she said. “We just had faith we could do it and it all happened in 24 hours. It is such a blessing. It is a long trip, especially for big tall kids.”

Sandy Smith said the fan support of the Redbirds has been exciting.

“I believe we will have three fan buses full of Redbird Nest fans,” she said. “We just packed the place at Belleville East. I think the fans are top notch. Mr. (Joe) Hook runs the Redbird Nest and he does a great job with the kids. There are a lot of pieces of a successful basketball team and they are doing their piece of what they can do.”

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