Before the Mountaineers take on the Pitt Panthers Saturday, Feb. 21, the Mountaineer Parents Club at West Virginia University will get together for a pregame pizza party at 4:30 p.m. in the Shell Building next to the WVU Coliseum.

This is the fifth year for the event, which is expected to draw more than 800 family members from both in- and out-of-state.

Weve already heard from hundreds of parents and were expecting a record turnout,said program assistant Lisa Hanselman.Come out for the party and stay for the game.

Head coaches John Belein and Mike Carey, several players, the WVU pep band, cheerleaders, dance team and Mountaineer mascot will all be stopping by the pregame event, Hanselman added.

Tickets, priced at $13, includes admission to the basketball game and pregame party, and may be ordered online athttp://www.wvugame.comby clicking onOnline Group Tickets.Ticket orders taken after Saturday, Feb. 7, will be available on game day at theWill CallColiseum box office.

Created in July of 1995, the Mountaineer Parents Club has grown from a few hundred to 11,500-plus family members. WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and his wife, Susan, started the organization as one of five student life initiatives to connect parents and family members with the WVU experience.

Mrs. Hardesty serves as national chairperson of the Parents Club, which includes 62 local clubs and 19 state chairs. To help answer parentsquestions and concerns, a toll-free help line, 1-800-WVU-0096, was established in 1996. The group also communicates through e-mails and a parents newsletter published three times a year.

Membership is free to parents of current, past and future parents of WVU students. To join, call 304-293-2506 or register on-line at

The number of Parents Club opportunities and events continues to grow, and we hope families are taking advantage of them,Hanselman said.If theres something you think we need to offer or add, please dont hesitate to give us a call. Family input is vital.