The West Virginia University Foundation announced today (Oct. 23) the 2008 Pride Travel Fund has received more than $78,500 from 748 donors to date. The ongoing fund was established to help defer the cost of travel for thePride of West Virginia WVU Marching Band.

A check will be presented to the band during halftime of tonights WVU -Auburn University football game at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The private funding, combined with financial support provided by the University and the athletic department, will enable the band to make trips to football games at the universities of Connecticut and Pittsburgh in November, as well as several exhibition performances across the region.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this fundraising effort,said Jay Drury, marching band director.Without the generosity of so many alumni and supporters, we just wouldnt be able to take our 380-plus member band on the road. I would also like to express our sincere gratitude as well to the WVU Foundation for doing such a great job in organizing this effort.

Drury said the trip to the University of Connecticut alone will cost about $78,000, while the trip to the University of Pittsburgh will be around $12,000. Even a small trip to an in-state event can cost from $8,500-14,000. With the financial support from WVU alumni and band supporters, the band will now have the opportunity to increase its appearances, he said.

We work hard to represent fans and supporters,Drury said.Our hope is that they will continue to support the travel fund each summer.

In 2007, the first year of the Pride Travel Fund, more than $93,000 was raised, enough money to enable the band to travel to away games at Syracuse and Marshall universities, and a small pep band made the trip to the University of Cincinnati.

To learn more about the Pride Travel Fund or to contribute, visit .

The WVU Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU .