The WVU Foundation has announced that the 2008 Pride Travel Fund has received over $78,500 from 748 donors. The ongoing fund was established to help defer the cost of travel for the WVU Marching Band, known as the "Pride of West Virginia."
A check was presented to the band during halftime of the WVU-Auburn University football game Oct. 23 at Milan Puskar Stadium
The private funding, combined with financial support provided by the University and the athletic department, will enable the band to make trips to football games at Connecticut and Pittsburgh in November, as well as several exhibition performances across the region.
"I want to thank everyone who contributed to this fundraising effort," said Jay Drury, marching band director. "Without the generosity of so many alumni and supporters, we just wouldn't be able to take our 380-plus member band on the road. I would also like to express our sincere gratitude as well to the WVU Foundation for doing such a great job in organizing this effort."
Drury said the trip to the University of Connecticut alone will cost approximately $78,000, while the trip to the University of Pittsburgh will be around $12,000. Even a small trip to an in-state event can cost from $8,500-$14,000. With the financial support from WVU alumni and band supporters, the band will now have the opportunity to increase its appearances, he said.
"We work hard to represent them (fans and supporters)," Drury said. "Our hope is that they will continue to support the travel fund each summer."
In 2007, the first year of the Pride Travel Fund, over $93,000 was raised, enough money to enable the band to travel to away games at Syracuse and Marshall, and a small pep band made the trip to Cincinnati.
To learn more about the Pride Travel Fund or to contribute, visit www.pridetravelfund.com