It doesnt matter how many miles you are from Morgantown; theres a Mountaineer event coming to a town near you.

The West Virginia University Mountaineer Parents Club is planning Summer Send-offs across the United States. These eventsmore than 40 held annuallyare hosted by local chapters throughout the country and provide members an opportunity to meet other WVU students, families and alumni.

The Summer Send-offs are important to WVU students and their families because they provide a chance for networking, as well as sharing ideas and learning more about WVU ,said Sabrina Cave, executive director of the Mountaineer Parents Club.

University representatives attend the events, where they are available to provide information, answer questions and share tips for new students.

Freshmen and other students greatly benefit from the Summer Send-offs,Cave said.It gives them a one-on-one experience with University students and employees, so they can learn more about everything from campus life and student organizations to classes and advising.

The Mountaineer Parents Club also encourages parents to get involved with the University, and these send-offs help them get acquainted with ways to do so.

The Parents Club is an important source of communication between the University and families of WVU students,Cave said.

Since its inception in 1995, the Mountaineer Parents Club has grown to more than 18,500 members with 15 state chairs and two international chairs. The organization also has more than 70 local clubs that host guest speakers from WVU ; attendcollege nightsat area high schools; and organize Summer Send-off, Winter Fest and game-watching events.

Club benefits includeParents Perksdiscounts from Morgantown merchants; a newsletter published three times a year; Parent Electronic News bulletins with timely information about campus happenings; a toll-free helpline (1-800-WVU-0096); and an informative Web site.

The Parents Club coordinates many other services for parents and students, including bus service to students going home for holiday breaks and parking passes for families moving their students in and out of Morgantown.

WVU families may join the club by calling 304-293-2506 or registering online athttp://www.wvu.edu/~parents. For more information about Summer Send-off events, visithttp://parentsclub.wvu.edu/events/summer_send_0ff_schedule.