The Red Bud High School cheerleaders are excited for the recent delivery of their new practice mats. For many years the squad used just two mats for practice, but now has been able to expand to nine mats. This purchase was made possible through outside donations and the DonorsChoose program. Cheer coach Miki Friess explained the cost for nine mats was $11,000. Donations of $2,000 came in last spring. In August a donors match was held and $6,000 was raised. Bill Gates donated $3,000 to cover the final cost of the mats. In addition to practices, the cheerleaders can now host competitions as well. Friess explained they appreciated the opportunity to practice once a month with the Chester cheerleaders and use their mats. DonorsChoose has been supporting teachers and students since 2000. Their mission is to make it easy for anyone to help a teacher in need. Their team has vetted and fulfilled over two million classroom project requests. The Red Bud squad looks forward to the ICCA finals to be held in January. They recently competed and took fifth place at the Highland Invitational to qualify for the finals.