Alumni and friends of the West Virginia University Marching Band still have time to support the Pride of West Virginia as it prepares to travel to New York City next month to perform in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The WVU Foundation’s Pride Travel Fund Campaign is an opportunity for people to make a monetary donation to help the band pay for the expenses associated with the trip.

“It’s hard to believe the trip is just a month away now,” said WVU Band Director Jay Drury. “All the plans are in place, and the band will really begin focusing now on what really is going to be the performance of a lifetime for our students and staff. We are so thankful for the many fans of the band who have already made a donation, and those who will be making a gift in the coming weeks.”

Drury was recently in New York City to meet with parade officials. “It’s not finalized yet, but it’s likely that we’ll be the first band in the parade right at the beginning.”

The Mountaineer Marching Band was one of 10 bands selected from 175 applicants and is the only collegiate band scheduled to march in the 2016 parade, a holiday tradition in New York and across the U.S. On Thanksgiving Day, crowds on New York’s streets are expected to top 3 million with an estimated 50 million viewers watching on NBC.

With a little more than a month left before Thanksgiving Day, there is still an opportunity to support the Pride Travel Fund and help offset the expenses associated with the band’s trip.

Mary Esposito, associate director of the Foundation’s University Fund and head of the Pride Travel Fund Campaign, said it has been exciting to see support pour in for the “Pride’s” New York City travel costs.

“We’ve received a great response from alumni and friends so far,” Esposito said. “This trip is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for the band, and we hope to continue to receive support throughout the next month.”

The Pride Travel Fund, established by the WVU Foundation, supports members of the marching band as they travel across the country representing the University and the state of West Virginia. Gifts to the fund help defray the costs of 120 hotel rooms, meals, and the nine charter buses needed for the band of nearly 400.

To make a gift to this year’s Pride Travel Fund, visit or call the WVU Foundation, 304-284-4000.

As a thank you, all donors will receive a special Pride of WV magnet. Those who donate $100 or more will receive additional Pride-related gifts:

• Donors of $100 or more will receive a Pride of WV CD.
• Donors of $250 or more will receive the CD and a Macy’s Edition Pride of WV ball cap.
• Donors of $500 or more will receive all of the above, a Pride of WV lapel pin and an invitation to the Morgantown KeyNotes Concert.
• Donors of $1,000 or more will receive all of the above and a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade commemorative photo.

The WVU Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for WVU. The Foundation is currently conducting “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University” – a private fundraising effort on behalf of WVU which runs through December 2017. For more on the campaign, visit:



CONTACT: Jay Drury, WVU Marching Band
Mary Esposito, WVU Foundation

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