Band of the Central States performs for bikers

By: Jessica Donnelly
Missouri National Guard Public Affairs

COLUMBIA, Mo - Sidewinder, the 571st Air Force Band of the Central States' rock band, performed at the Bike Multiple Sclerosis: Gateway Getaway Ride 2009, Sept. 12 in Columbia, Mo.

It is the band's fourth year providing entertainment for the MS bike ride, said Capt. John Arata, the band's commander.

"[The band] was contacted by the race organizer four years ago and it seemed like a good community outreach event, as well as a good fundraising benefit to play for," said Arata.

However, there is also deeper reason for the bands support.

"The wife of a former [band] member has MS so we are personally connected with the cause," said Tech. Sgt. Kevin Maret, 571st AF Band of the Central States Sidewinder noncommissioned officer in charge.

According to the Bike MS Web site, the bike ride has been taking place for the past 25 years to raise money toward diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

"I think it is wonderful that we are able to support this type of event," Maret said.

For more information about the MS bike ride or how to get involved, check out the Web site at:

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