EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — On Saturday, East Palestine high school hosted a benefit basketball game.

A group of Huntington Bank’s colleagues and some East Palestine community members came together to plan the benefit basketball game.

“Got together with Huntington, and friends, if you will, for a community night to, you know — just for about two hours, three hours — get our minds off of things and just kind of give back to the community,” said Tristan Reynolds, boys varsity basketball coach.

Reynolds played on the team made up of boys and girls from the high school and other coaches.

“And then Huntington’s side, there’s some Huntington employees and then some community members so we call it Huntington and friends.”

All proceeds from Saturday night’s basket raffle are being donated to the Way Station to continue supporting East Palestine.

“Some of the community partners, some of our colleagues reached out. You know we have some of our branches that put together baskets for this event, from all over our footprint which was kind of cool. And some folks from the community helped as well. So it’s just been a community effort,” said Sam Huston, Huntington Bank Community president.

Huston emphasized that Saturday night’s game was about fellowship.

“To be honest with you, we are a part of this community. You know many of my colleagues that are playing here tonight, they live here, they work here. We’re here. We’re here as part of the community, to support the community. It’s not at all about Huntington Bank at all tonight,” Huston said.

Since the derailment, East Palestine’s sports teams have faced challenges of getting opposing teams to come to the village. Multiple residents told me having this benefit basketball game brings back a sense of normalcy that has been missed.

“It’s hard. Our kids need to have a normal life, too,” said Marnie Bistarkey, a resident of East Palestine. “We’re getting a lot of support from other communities but we also want them to still want to be our neighbors and still want to be part of our community and extracurricular activities.”

Bistarkey says having so many people show up to the game was refreshing to see.