For Mountaineer fans, the “West Virginia University Marching Band’s pre-game and half-time performances are integral parts of the home football game experience. But taking “The Pride” on the road can be quite a challenge.
Getting the nearly 400-member band to away games or events around the state is quite expensive.
Although the University and the Athletic Department provide financial support for the band, escalating travel expenses exceed the band’s budget. Simply put, private support is needed for the band to travel outside Morgantown.
Jay Drury, director of the Mountaineer Marching Band, said buses, hotels and food are the three major travel costs for the band. The largest single expense is the nine charter buses it takes to move the band from one location to another. The Pride Travel Fund, established by the WVU Foundation, helps defer travel costs associated with the band. Without the support of WVU alumni and friends through the Fund, the band’s appearances will be limited.
Past Pride Travel Fund campaigns have helped raise enough money to enable the band to travel to away games at Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Auburn, as well as locations around the state for concerts and parades.
“Giving to the Pride Travel Fund not only helps the band extend its ‘wonder’ to others, it gives every member of the band the opportunity of a lifetime,” says first year drum major Chelsea Cook. “Some members of the band had never been on an airplane until the bowl trip to Arizona. Donors help make memories for every member of the band.”
Second year drum major Jason Bennett agrees.
“The feeling you get when you run out of those tunnels is amazing, and the ability to show what ‘The Pride of West Virginia’ is all about to another state and another athletic program ranks up there pretty high,” he said. “It not only shows our pride for the marching band, but our pride for our University, and our great state. Our thanks go to the donors, because they are now an essential part of what we do.”
You can give to the Pride Travel Fund by contacting the WVU Foundation at 304-284-4000 or Donate Online. Donors who give $500 or more become charter members of the 100 Mile Club. All donors receive a car decal.
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