WHEELING - Plenty of folks in the Ohio Valley love their Mountaineers. And on May 13, they'll have an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the top names associated with West Virginia University athletics.
B-MAC, the area's Mountaineers support group, and the Mountaineer Athletic Club, will play host to the B-MAC's 19th annual scholarship reception Tuesday, May 13 at Stratford Springs.
The event is also the second stop on WVU's and the MAC's Coaches Caravan.
PREPARING for the annual B-MAC scholarship reception on May 13 at Stratford Springs in Wheeling. Pictured, from left, are John S. Marshall, WVU A.D. for annual giving Kevin Miller and John Budinscak.
''This is a big area for us,'' noted Kevin Miller, a Wheeling native and WVU assistant athletic director for annual giving. ''We have a lot of Mountaineers up here.
''It's great to bring (men's basketball) Coach (Bob) Huggins, (football coach) Dana (Holgorsen) and (athletic director) Oliver (Luck) up here to engage with our constituents in the Ohio Valley to grow our brand and build relationships with people in the community so they come down to Morgantown, watch the games and support the Mountaineers in the classroom, as well.''
The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Tickets are $20, which include admission, heavy hors d'ouevres and access to the coaches.
In addition to the aforementioned coaches, organizers are hoping to have in attendance women's basketball coach Mike Carey. Carey, the Big 12 Coach of the Year, led WVU to the finals of the Big 12 Tournament and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
''It's a major fundraiser we have, which is now in conjunction with the Mountaineer Athletic Club and their Coaches Caravan,'' B-MAC's John S. Marshall said. ''They all come and mingle with the fans, and that's the most important thing. Fans can interact with them. And the Mountaineer (Michael Garcia) will be there.''
The drawing prize is tickets for two to two Mountaineer football home games for the 2014 season. Proceeds benefit the B-MAC scholarship.
''The scholarship goes to a boy or girl, but they have to be from a school on either side of the (Ohio) River from Chester down to Parkersburg,'' BMAC's John Budinscak explained.
B-MAC was started as a grassroots effort, in part, by Marshall and Budinscak and has steadily grown into a sizable organization that plays a prominent role in the Ohio Valley supporting WVU.
''They not only raise money and spread awareness of the MAC and spread awareness of our student-athletes, but these guys help put a scholarship together for athletes from the Ohio Valley that represents the area while they're wearing the old Gold and Blue in Morgantown,'' Miller said.
An invitation has been extended to linebacker and Steubenville High graduate Shaq Petteway, this year's scholarship recipient. Past scholarship recipients include Alyssa DeSantis, Zach Cooper, Liz Repella and Dom Prezzia.
''The support has been great,'' Budinscak said. ''We've been doing this for nearly 20 years and the support just keeps getting better and better and better.
''There are no membership dues ... no card. That's what we like about it. If someone doesn't want to participate in something today, maybe next time around they will. There's just a whole group out there and it's just worked out great for us.''
To make a reservation or for more information, contact Marshall at (740) 695-4262 or Budinscak at (740) 695-2944.