News>Local Air Force Sergeants Association honors all Airman with annual bike-a-thon at AEDC
Arnold AFB Commander Col. Ray Toth fired the starting pistol for 19 cyclists who participated in the third annual bike-a-thon to honor the memory of Tech. Sgt. Gene Jobe, a 21-year career Air Force member and the late father-in-law of former AEDC chaplain, Maj. Paul Gunn. Many of the cyclists, all of whom work at the base’s Arnold Engineering Development Complex, have participated in all or most of the previous bike-a-thons since its inception in 2009. (Photo by Jacqueline Cowan)
From left, AEDC’s Donna Paredez, one of the founders of “The Tech Sgt. Gene Jobe Memorial Bike-A-Thon,” listens as AEDC Commander Col. Raymond G. Toth and Maj. Paul Gunn, a former AEDC chaplain who is a chaplain recruiter for the Air Force Reserve Command, talk about Jobe and the importance of honoring Airman everywhere. (Photo by Jacqueline Cowan)
9/21/2012 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- Arnold Engineering Development Complex was recently the site for the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) Chapter 477's hosting of their third and most successful annual bike-a-thon to raise funds for projects that include a number of quality-of-life initiatives.
"This year's event was met with unprecedented support from all across AEDC, breaking our record for funds raised by exceeding $2,700," said Donna Paredez, a data analyst for AEDC's Test Systems Sustainment Division for Integration and Support, and senior advisor for AFSA Chapter 477. "Special appreciation goes out to our riders and the folks at our Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL), Operations Center, Model Shop, and Test Operations Division for their generous donations."
Paredez is also one of the founders of the bike-a-thon.
Nineteen employees at AEDC took part in the bike-a-thon, which formally began in 2010 to honor the memory of Tech. Sgt. Gene Jobe, a 21-year career Air Force member and the late father-in-law of former AEDC Chaplain, Maj. Paul Gunn.
The event takes place at Arnold AFB every year.
Gunn, who is a chaplain recruiter for the Air Force Reserve Command, has participated in all of the bike-a-thons. He said the reasons for the event are just as relevant as the day he and AFSA Chapter 477 spearheaded the organizational effort for the first bike-a-thon in 2009.
"To me, Gene [Jobe] represents the Airman who goes to work every day and serves his country with honor," Gunn said.
Paredez said she, Tech Sgt. Michael Hurley, the AFSA vice president, and Gunn share that conviction.
"Although we decided to call the annual event 'The Tech Sgt. Gene Jobe Memorial Bike-A-Thon,' it is really dedicated to those veterans who, like Gene, were not war heroes. He was an airman who dedicated more than 20 years of his life to his country. He represents all the hard-working Airman who go to work every day and serve their country with honor."
AFSA is a non-profit organization that represents the professional and personal interests of more than 130,000 active, retired and veteran total enlisted members of the U.S. Air Force and their families.