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Band of the Central States performs for bikers

COLUMBIA, Mo -- The 571st Air Force Band of the Central States' rock band, Sidewinder, performed in support of 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, explained Capt. John Arata, 571st AF Band of the Central States 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 Captain Arata on how the 571st began playing for the race participants.

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 non-commissioned 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.

For more information about the MS bike ride or how to get involved, check out the Web site at http://nationalmssociety.org/chapters/bike-ms-gateway-area-chapter/index.aspx

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