Pride of West Virginia seeks donations for travel

MORGANTOWN — Many Mountaineer football fans are as excited to see The Pride of West Virginia as they are quarterback Will Grier and

his teammates.

Come Sept. 8 — the date of the home opener at Milan Puskar Stadium — hundreds of fans will enter the venue early to see and hear the Mountaineer Marching Band.

But before that kickoff, the Pride members are hoping to travel to North Carolina on Sept. 1 for WVU’s season opener against Tennessee in Charlotte.

The band also hopes to make a trip to Raleigh, N.C., Sept. 15, to help cheer on WVU in its game against North Carolina State.

Alumni and friends of WVU and the Mountaineer Marching Band are being asked to help the band travel to support the football team at those two North Carolina games.

According to a press release from WVU, donations are being accepted to the Pride Travel Fund, established by the WVU Foundation, to help reduce traveling costs for the Pride of West Virginia, as the band has long been known.

Both trips south are expected to include stops in southern West Virginia. Details on those performances are still being put together. The band also will travel to Kingwood for the

2018 Buckwheat Festival on Sept. 29, according to the press release.

“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,” Scott Tobias, director of bands, said in the release. “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 helped the band travel to many locations, including football games at Auburn, LSU and Oklahoma, as well as performances such as the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Last year, more than $100,000 was raised for the band’s travel from more than 800 donors, according to WVU.

Samantha Phelix, a Winfield native, is a four-year senior and drum major in the band.

“As members of the band, we are extremely grateful for the Pride Travel Fund,” she said in the release. “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.”

All donors will receive a Pride of WV magnet. Donors of $100 or more will receive the magnet and a digital download code to receive last year’s Season Highlights Band Album. Donors of $500 or more will receive the magnet, a digital download code to receive last year’s Season Highlights Band Album and an invitation to the Pride’s Morgantown KeyNotes concert.

  • Make a gift to this year’s Pride Travel Fund by calling the WVU Foundation at 304-284-4000.
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