Support for the West Virginia University Marching Band from alumni and friend continues to grow every year. The WVU Foundation announced Thursday (Oct. 30) that the 2014 Pride Travel Fund has received a record $115,718 from 1,014 donors to date, breaking last year's record of $103,232 from 941 donors.
The annual campaign was established to help defray the costs of travel for the band, including transportation, hotels and food for nearly the 400 members and staff. A check presentation will take place during halftime of the WVU-TCU football game Saturday (Nov. 1).
"On behalf of the entire WVU Marching Band, I want to express our sincere gratitude for the overwhelming support again this year from alumni and friends. It is truly humbling to see the generosity of so many," said Jay Drury, WVU Marching Band director. "The members of the band are proud to represent both the University and this great state when we travel. Because of the continuing support from our fans, we are able to carry the Mountaineer spirit far and wide."
With the financial assistance of private donors, the University and the WVU Athletic Department, the Pride was able to travel to the first away football game of the season in Atlanta, Ga., for the Aug. 30 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Along with the trip to the Georgia Dome, the band traveled to the Maryland game Sept. 13, as well as locations around the state and region for exhibition performances.
"Our alumni and friends have been extremely generous once again this year," said Mary Esposito, assistant director of the WVU Foundation's University Fund. "We hope to grow the Pride Travel Fund even more in the coming years so we can continue to keep our nationally recognized band on the road. Every performance of the band, both home and away, helps to spread the Mountaineer spirit and pride. Thank you so much to all of our donors this year for their support."
Since 2007, donors have contributed over $745,000 to the Pride Travel Fund. The contributions have enabled the band over the years to travel to away games at Auburn, Syracuse, Connecticut, Cincinnati, LSU, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and Marshall. Last year, the band traveled to Norman, Okla., for its first Big 12 conference road trip when the WVU football team played the Sooners.
Anyone interested in contributing to the Pride Travel Fund may do so by contacting WVU Foundation, 304-284-4000, or www.PrideTravelFund.com .
Gifts to the Pride Travel fund count toward A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia's University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.
Jay Drury, WVU Marching Band
Mary Esposito, WVU Foundation