The West Virginia University Foundation today (June 16) launched a $270,000 Band Aid Drive to raise funds to purchase 400 new uniforms for the WVU Mountaineer Marching Band, the “Pride of West Virginia.”
The Foundation is partnering with United Bank and Friends of Coal on the effort. The official kickoff was held at the United Bank courtyard in Charleston .
“The band is a symbol of WVU, and its members are ambassadors for our entire state,” said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. “Everyone who cares about West Virginia takes pride in the Mountaineer Marching Band. I'm grateful to the WVU Foundation and to everyone who supports this initiative. Together, we will make the band an even greater source of pride.”
The current 11-year-old uniforms are basically worn out, officials said. They are worn at all home football games and several away contests during each season, including bowl games. Bowl and guest appearances during those years included the Sugar, Gator, Carquest, Insight.com, Music City and Continental Tire bowls, along with the College Football Hall of Fame presentation, Disney's Magic Kingdom parade and a Constitution Day event in Washington, D.C.
Appearances across the state have included the governor's inaugural parade, Elkins Forest Festival, Charleston Sternwheel Regatta Festival, Kingwood Buckwheat Festival, Spencer Black Walnut Festival and Wheeling Festival of Lights.
“The manufacturer said the average life of band uniforms is seven to eight years,” said Jay Drury, band director. “We've done very well making them last this long. The band members took very good care of the uniforms. However, it's now time for an update.”
The new uniforms combine the best and most popular qualities of the last two into a striking, updated version. The bright, white coat front is again accented with a brilliant, gold sash lying diagonally across the torso. The “ Flying WV ” is displayed prominently over the left breast. A trimmed canopy has been added to the shortened coat bringing added detail and 21st century style.
The state outline, the “ Flying WV ” and the words “The Pride of West Virginia” will be an added embroidered detail on the right shoulder of each coat. The style of the sleeve will show slight modification as well: The new coats will offer a significant band of gold-trimmed blue fabric ending in a straight cuff. The half cape is being replaced with the full cape that was last seen on the band's uniforms during the 1980s. The cape and the back of the coat feature a large, gold “ Flying WV .” The helmet receives an update as well – a blue “ Flying WV ” will be featured on top of the gold shield in the front.
The successful completion of the Band Aid Drive will allow the “Pride” to wear the new uniforms on Sept. 2 at the WVU football season opener against Marshall University.
“Every gift – no matter the size – is important,” said D. Lyn Dotson, vice president for development for the Foundation. “We need the help of the citizens of West Virginia . The “Pride” must look its best as it represents the state in its many travels.” Contributions to the campaign may be made by Sept. 1 at any United Bank or sent to the WVU Foundation, Band Aid Drive , P.O. Box 1650 , Morgantown , WV 26507-1650 . Checks should be made out to WVUF Band Aid Drive .
The band uniform cost breakdown includes: new uniform, $500; coat and cape, $340; pants, $105; helmet and plume, $60; and raincoats, $35.
All donors receive an “I support the Pride of West Virginia” car decal. Donors of $100 or more receive a special edition band compact disc available only to Band Aid contributors.
There also are three giving clubs for donors:
- Band Members Club (donors of $500 and $999). In addition to the CD and car decal, the donor's name will be put into a new uniform and the donor will receive a band hat from a retired uniform.
- Drum Major Club (donors of $1,000-$4,999). Donors receive Band Members Club benefits, plus an invitation to the Key Note Concert in Morgantown and recognition as a WVU Foundation partner.
- Band Directors Club (donors of $5,000 or more). Donors receive Band Directors Club benefits and a framed “ Flying WV ” from a retired uniform.
For more information or to make a gift online, visit www.wvuf.org/bandaid/. To contact the Foundation about the campaign, call 304-284-4016.
The WVU Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of West Virginia University .