Sharing the Spirit
The Marching Virginians are proud of the fine work they accomplish both on and off the field. Whether collecting canned goods for the Montgomery County Christmas Store, being led by TV host Ty Pennington for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, or collecting dresses to give to girls who wish they could go to prom, The Marching Virginians are truly The Spirit of Tech.
Hokies for the Hungry Annual Canned Food Drive
Each year, The Marching Virginians sponsor a massive food drive for the Montgomery County Christmas Store. The Christmas Store collects food, clothing, and toys for low-income citizens to buy at Christmas time on a point system.
This fundraising project started as a small service project in 1997, but has grown into a huge event. Each year a celebrity spokesman is selected (usually a star football player) and the event is advertised on the VT homepage, hokiesports.com, on the radio, and through local news outlets. An announcement for Hokies for the Hungry is even printed on VT football tickets each season.
On the day of the event, The Marching Virginians split up into pep bands that travel throughout the tailgaiting lots, performing and collecting donations from fans before a home game. The MVs have joined forces with the New Life Christian Fellowship (NLCF) to make this event even more successful. NLCF volunteers collect donations after the band enters the stadium and load the truck that will carry the donations to the Christmas Store. Thank you, NLCF!
Each year, thousands of canned food items and thousands of dollars are raised to feed families all over Montgomery County. The MVs appreciate all of the news outlets and organizations who help to make Hokies for the Hungry such a huge success every year.
Band-A-Rama Scholarship Benefit Spectacular
Since 2006, The Marching Virginians have proudly participated in Band-A-Rama, an event to celebrate all things band at Virginia Tech. Joined by the University's Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, the MVs perform show music from their season and other popular songs from their repertoire. Plus, it's the only time you'll probably ever experience the MVs indoors!
Proceeds from the concert support student music activities. This fall, the event will help to fund the 2017 performance by the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and University Choirs at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Marching for ALS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, causes the loss of nerve cells and eventually, all muscle control. Marching for ALS is a fundraising program held by the ALS Association to support ALS research and other programs for ALS patients. Bands from across the country are invited to join in and raise funds to show their support.
The Marching Virginians joined the march in 2010 and donated over $32,000 toward the cause by inviting friends, family, and other MV fans to make donations in our name. ALS has affected the MV family directly in recent years, and the band is excited to have found a great way to support the fight against this devastating disease.
Battle of the Bands Blood Drive
Between 2010 and 2012, The Marching Virginians and The Yellow Jacket Pep Band from Georgia Tech have challenged each other in an annual competition. To win, the bands recruited blood donors during a blood drive held on their respecive campuses. A special trophy was created to celebrate the winner, and the trophy was presented at a basketball game each year.
While the MVs took the trophy home at two of the three meetings, the real winners were the Red Cross and the hundreds of people who received blood donations generated by these drives. Go Hokies and Yellow Jackets!
Craig County - Home of the Rockets
In the fall of 2005, a special request for a performance came from a small high school in Southwest Virginia. Since then, the MVs have sent a pep band to Craig County High School in New Castle, Virginia, for one home football game almost each year.
Craig County is one of the smallest schools in Virginia, and does not currently have their own band program. The Marching Virginians add energy and enthusiasm, and the local community comes out to support the team and band alike! Let's Go Rockets!
The Cinderella Project
The Cinderella Project is known nationwide for providing formal dresses to girls within the community who might not be able to afford the clothing and accessories that are usually worn on prom night. The MV Flag Corps began working with a Blacksburg high school teacher in 2009 to collect gently used dresses, shoes, purses, and jewelry to assemble a store that can be visited by girls from all over Montgomery County.
Response for the project was amazing, with over 200 dresses collected along with an array of accessories, makeup, and even hair appointments from local salons. The flags were even able to volunteer at the store where they helped girls select the perfect prom outfit.
Pink Glove Dance Competition
In 2011, The Marching Virginians joined forces with Lewisgale Hospital Montgomery employees, breast cancer survivors, and the Virginia Tech Spirit Squads to create an original dance video for the Pink Glove Dance Competition. The video is set to Pink's "Raise Your Glass" and features scenes from the hospital and Lane Stadium. The video received over 19,000 votes from fans, and came in 4th place overall.
You can view the video here on the official Pink Glove Dance website.
"Structurally Sound" - Building a House for Stack
On Monday, May 11th, 2009, The Marching Virginians began work to fulfill their promise to build a house in honor of Ryan "Stack" Clark - an MV baritone player who lost his life in the April 16th shootings. This house was an exciting collaboration between the MVs, the Town of Blacksburg, and Community Housing Partners.
Construction was completed on May 21st, 2009 - a full day ahead of schedule! A dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, June 20th and Ryan's family attended the event.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition visits Blacksburg
In November of 2005, the popular ABC television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition selected Blacksburg resident Carol Crawford-Smith and her two sons, Hunter and Garland, for an extreme makeover. The Blacksburg and Virginia Tech community – including The Marching Virginians – immediately joined forces to help.
Carol Crawford-Smith, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, is a dance instructor whose cheerful spirit has helped her overcome countless obstacles in her life. As her health had deteriorated over the past several years, one of the greatest obstacles in her life had become her house. Filled with small steps throughout, a simple trip from the bedroom to the kitchen had become a long and painful journey. Just as difficult, the trip to her second-floor Center for Dance studio posed an even greater challenge, taking almost forty-five minutes to accomplish the twenty-two steps. It was clear that this mother and dance instructor needed the help of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
On the morning of demolition, The Marching Virginians rose to the challenge in their own unique way. Led by TV host Ty Pennington, The Spirit of Tech paraded hundreds of maroon and orange clad students and demolition workers to the building site. Even though band members had just returned from the ACC football championship game in Jacksonville, their energy and enthusiasm overcame the freezing temperatures and newly fallen snow that morning. As the MVs danced The Hokie Pokie on the front lawn, they knew they were doing something great in the community.
The producers of Extreme Makeover said that the Crawford-Smith house involved the most volunteers the show had ever seen. With over 4,000 volunteers, Extreme Makeover created a house for the Smith family that accommodated Carol’s illness. They also altered her studio so that she could continue to teach and share her love of dance with her students.
The Marching Virginians are proud to have been a part of this amazing project.
Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts
The Marching Virginians teamed up with YMCA at Virginia Tech on two separate occasions to send students to New Orleans to help with cleanup and restoration in areas that were destroyed by the 2005 hurricane.
On the first trip, which took place in 2005, students spent their Thanksgiving break cleaning out ruined houses and disposing of damaged furniture and other debris. Many generous donations supported the 35 MV and 19 YMCA volunteers, providing them with most of the food and gear they needed to make it through the week. The students slept in a nearby church and even enjoyed a Thanksgiving Day meal with members of the community.
On their second trip, which took place in November of 2007, the theme of the trip was repair and restoration rather than destruction and demolition. Students spent their time painting and installing flooring in rebuilt homes. Another type of healing also took place that week as one of the homes was dedicated to Leslie Sherman and Ryan "Stack" Clark. Both of these students were victims of the April 16th shootings who had previously traveled to New Orleans for Katrina relief efforts, and Ryan was a Marching Virginian. Hokie stones with their names were placed on the property and a special ceremony was held. It was a lovely tribute for two hokies who were the embodiment of Ut Prosim.