It's been 11 long years since the WVU band has received new uniforms, and those garments were only anticipated to be around for eight. That's what spurred the Band Aid fundraising drive.
The Friends of Coal and United Bank were both corporate sponsors in the effort to raise money for new band uniforms. The drive kicked off June 16.
WVU head football coach Rich Rodriguez and his wife, Rita, set off the drive, pledging the $500 that was needed for a single uniform.
The goal was to reach $250,000 for the purchase of 400 new uniforms. To this date, the Band Aid drive has exceeded the goal, said Sarah Gibson, for the WVU Foundation.
Donors to the fundraising effort are said to receive different perks depending on what they contributed. Even if a person contributed $1, he or she would receive a car decal, according to the band's Web site.
Although band members took great care of the uniforms, Marching Band Director Jay Drury said the old ones were just too worn out. So, he and Director of Bands John Hendricks began discussing the details.
"Unfortunately the uniforms are very expensive so it takes a major fundraising effort to obtain the money for a new set," Drury said.
The new uniforms have a more modern look, with some of the details changed and some others simply updated.
On the white coat front is a gold sash that lies diagonally across the chest. On the right shoulder of the coats is the state outline, the "Flying WV" and the words "Pride of West Virginia." One of the most prominent features on the uniforms is the addition of the long cape with the "Flying WV" on the back, Drury said.
In addition to individuals and companies, the College of Human Resources and Education decided to help with the drive. The WVU Nursery School showed their pint-sized pride by marching through Towers and floors in Allen Hall, said Bobbie Warash, director of the Child Development Laboratory.
It was fun to have the Mountaineer, a band member, parents and the student chapter of the WVAYC and children marching to the music of ???Country Roads,' " she said.
Warash said that the 3- and 4-year-olds raised more than $1,000, enough to buy two uniforms. The band debuted its new attire at the WVU versus Marshall game. Anne Hochendoner, a member of the band, said the crowd reacted positively to the new uniforms.
"We are very proud of our band, our university and our state," Drury said, "and we are very happy to have these new uniforms to help us represent the university and the state in the best possible manner."