Alumni and friends of West Virginia University and the Mountaineer Marching Band are being asked again to help the band travel this fall, including a planned trip to Louisiana for the Sept. 24 football game against LSU.
The Pride Travel Fund, established by the WVU Foundation, is now accepting donations to help defray 2010 travel costs for the ???Pride of West Virginia???, as the band is known. Along with a trip to Baton Rouge, the band also hopes to travel to the Marshall and Pitt games, as well as locations around the state and region for concert and exhibition performances.
Getting the nearly 400 member band plus staff to away games or events around the state is very expensive, said Jay Drury, the band???s director.
???While the University and the Athletic Department provide financial support for the band, our travel expenses exceed the band???s budget,??? he said. ???We rely on private support from our alumni and friends to enable us to travel.???
Drury said that buses, hotels and food are the three major travel expenses. The largest being the nine charter buses needed to transport the band.
???We are very excited to have the opportunity to take the band on the road to support the Mountaineers, including Louisiana - the heart of SEC country,??? Drury said.???We are very proud of our band, our university and our state, and it is a great honor to represent West Virginia on a national stage. We are so thankful for the wonderful support of alumni and friends who help us each year to make these trips possible.???
Donors have contributed more than $320,000 to the Pride Travel Fund since its inception in 2007. The contributions have enabled the band over the years to travel to away games at Auburn, Syracuse, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Marshall.
Being part of the band and having the opportunity to perform across the state, region and the country is beyond exciting for first year drum major Andy Grindle.
???The ???Pride of West Virginia??? has given me so many opportunities to perform in a variety of different venues that I might not have been able to otherwise,??? said Grindle. ???As the ???Pride??? gears up for the 2010 season, please know that any contribution will help provide us with valuable opportunities and memorable life experiences.???
First year drum major Katie Demyan says traveling with the band is an exciting bonding experience as well as a great recruitment opportunity for WVU.
???I decided that I wanted to attend WVU after seeing the ???Pride??? perform at a band competition my sophomore year of high school,??? Demyan said. ???I had never experienced anything as thrilling as hearing the ???Pride of West Virginia???. All of this is made possible by those who support the Pride Travel Fund, and we say thank you very much!???
Anyone interested in contributing to The Pride Travel Fund may do so by contacting the WVU Foundation, 304-284-4000 or www.PrideTravelFund.com
Donors who give $500 or more become members of the prestigious 100 Mile Club. Those who contribute $100 or more before Sept. 1 receive a band CD, and all donors receive a car decal.
The WVU Foundation is a private nonprofit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University.