MORGANTOWN – Donations are now being accepted to the Pride Travel Fund, established by the WVU Foundation, to help reduce traveling costs for the Mountaineer Marching Band. Alumni and friends of West Virginia University and the “Pride of West Virginia” have been asked to help the band travel to two football games in North Carolina in September.
The band will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, the for Saturday, Sept. 1, football game against the Tennessee Volunteers. Then they head to Raleigh, North Carolina, for a Saturday, Sept. 15, football game against the N.C. State Wolfpack. Both trips are expected to include stops in southern West Virginia. The band also will travel to Kingwood, West Virginia for the Buckwheat Festival on Sept. 29.
“The Pride Travel Fund is an invaluable resource for the WVU Mountaineer Marching Band. The costs involved in transporting, housing and feeding a 350-member organization such as The Pride can be extremely high,” said Scott Tobias, director of bands. “The generosity of our donors makes it possible for The Pride to continue to represent WVU and the entire state of West Virginia throughout the region and nation.”
Since its inception in 2007, the Pride Travel Fund has helped the band travel to many locations including football games at Auburn, LSU and Oklahoma, as well as other performances such as a 2016 trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Stephen Lytle, associate director of bands, added, “Our students are passionate about WVU and many of our members come from high school programs where they’ve never been able to travel like this, let alone experience athletic events on this scale. It takes an incredible amount of resources to make this happen and donations help us to continue to support our team, our students, and promote West Virginia throughout the country.”
Last year, more than $100,000 was raised for the band’s travel from more than 800 donors.
Samantha Phelix, a Winfield native, is a four-year senior and drum major in the band. She explains, “As members of the band, we are extremely grateful for the Pride Travel Fund. It has allowed us to travel to many states during my time in the band, including Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas. Support from our donors helps us gain memorable experiences all while being able to support our team.”
Make a gift to this year’s Pride Travel Fund on our website or call the WVU Foundation at 304-284-4000.