Alumni and friends of the West Virginia University Marching Band have the opportunity to support "The Pride of West Virginia" as it travels to New York City for the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The WVU Foundation has launched its annual Pride Travel Fund Campaign to help defray the costs of hotel rooms, meals, and the nine charter buses needed for the nearly 400 member band to make appearances this fall around the state, region and country.
In addition to the band's trip to New York City, "The Pride" will travel to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., for the WVU vs. BYU football game Sept 24., and as well as other parts of the state and region for concerts and parades.
While the University and Athletic Department provide support for the band, the expenses of travel exceed the band's available budget.
Jay Drury, the band's director, says the band relies on support from private donors to make travel possible. "The band is really looking forward to supporting our football team this season, as well as the once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," Drury said. "We're grateful for the support we've received in previous years, and hope our travel costs will be supported again by the generosity of so many Mountaineer fans."
Supporters of the Pride Travel Fund have contributed approximately $800,000 since the fund's inception in 2007.
The opportunity to represent WVU and West Virginia in the Macy's Parade is a unique opportunity, Drury said. The band will join other iconic Macy's staples including floats, giant character balloons and superstar performers to create an unforgettable experience for the more than 3.5 million spectators, 50 million viewers, and participants themselves.
Donovan Kelly, a senior drum major from Parkersburg, says the band is proud to not only be the only collegiate marching band in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but to represent WVU and the state at such an important event.
"The Pride Travel Fund will be incredibly helpful in funding our trip to New York City," Kelly said. "All donations to the Pride Travel Fund go a long way in helping out our endeavors as a band."
Tayler Morrow, a WVU senior from Morgantown, also serves as a drum major for the band.
"In my three years with 'The Pride', we have traveled to perform at many different venues across America," Morrow said. "I know that none of these trips would be possible, though, without the support from Mountaineer Nation."
To make a gift to this year's Pride Travel Fund, visit www.pridetravelfund.comor call the WVU Foundation at 304-284-4000.
As a thank you, all donors will receive a special "Pride of West Virginia" magnet. Those who donate $100 or more will receive additional Pride-related gifts:
Donors of $100 or more will receive a "Pride of West Virginia" music CD.
Donors of $250 or more will receive the CD and a Macy's Edition "Pride of West Virginia" ball cap.
Donors of $500 or more will receive all of the above, a "Pride of West Virginia" lapel pin and an invitation to the band's 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 University" – a $1 billion private fundraising effort on behalf of WVU. For more on the campaign, visit: www.astateofminds.com
CONTACT: Jay Drury, WVU Marching Band
Mary Esposito, WVU Foundation