On Saturday, August 13 locals gathered at Hartwood Acres for the annual “MuSic for MS” Roots Music Festival with one mission – to help end Multiple Sclerosis (MS) forever.  It is the third year for the event which is helping people with Multiple Sclerosis to “move forward” through the power of music.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Pennsylvania Keystone Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Central and Western PA and raise funds for critical MS research.

“This event acknowledges and celebrates the courage of all those living with MS,” said Michael “Mitch” Arnold, President of Music for MS.  “It is a very, very difficult disease.  It is a very frustrating disease.  Every morning they wake up and they don’t know what is coming their way. There are a lot of off shoots and side effects of MS,” said Mitch.  “We really need to salute their courage as they make it through each day. In some small way hopefully we are helping those people that live with MS, making their lives just a little bit better.”

It is the third year for the event which had grown each year and raised $85,000 in their first two years.

“MuSic for MS began with the notion that those that live with MS should continue to be assisted in their journey in unique and relevant ways,” said Mitch. “The MS Society has done such a remarkable job of doing just that and our group is simply furthering the cause.  “A “Roots” Music Festival provides another way to come together as a community to learn and have a bit of fun as we support those living with MS. Music is the universal language and can have the ability to heal and our board is committed to delivering a soulful event that will uplift and inspire all who get involved.”

Festivities kicked off on August 11th with ticketholders having access to the MuSic for MS Kick-Off Event at the Rex Theater featuring The Mulligan Brothers and Molly Alphabet.    The Mulligan Brothers, a band whose members hail from coastal Alabama and Mississippi have been making their rounds nationally and internationally with their unique “Americana” sound.

It was the perfect kick-off for the main event on August 13 which headlined local artists such as TullyCavy, Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, The NA Fiddlers & Vocale Chorale and national acts such as The Black Lillies, Driftwood and River Whyless.

The event emceed by WDVE’s Michele Michaels featured food, drinks, a cooling tent for guests and free five minute chair massages courtesy of  Pittsburgh Fitness Project.  VIP ticketholders enjoyed amenities such as beer, wine, soft drinks, food and festival tee-shirts.

“The dollars raised through Music for MS fund critical MS Research and support local programs and services, so people affected by MS can live their best lives,” said Anne Mageras, Chapter President of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Pennsylvania Keystone Chapter.  MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body. The PA Keystone Chapter of NMSS serves 56 counties in PA, and 17,000 people living with MS and events like Music for MS help us move closer to creating a world free of MS.”

For more information about MS, Research and Programs & Services, visit www.nationalmssociety.org.