Mayor’s Ice Bucket Challenge Preps Spokane For Gleason Fest

By Paige Browning

The mayor of Spokane and a couple dozen football players took the ice bucket challenge today, dumping buckets of ice water on their heads at Gonzaga Prep. The fundraiser asks people to dump a bucket on themselves, or donate for Lou Gehrig’s disease, otherwise known as ALS. It’s gone viral, and for the organizers of Spokane’s Gleason Fest, that’s a good thing.
 
Condon chose to take the challenge at Gonzaga Prep because it’s his alma mater, and the alma mater of Steve Gleason, a prominent NFL veteran living with ALS.
 
Condon: “Ohh, that’s a cold one!...”
 
The ice bucket challenge’s popularity has brought attention to Gleason Fest, the annual music festival being held this Saturday in Spokane. Jimmy Ramirez says the event started because Gleason has so many friends who want to see him when he visits, himself included.
 
Ramirez: “You ask me a question about Steve Gleason and, just, the ultimate includer, wonderful leader. Absolutely caring human being on planet earth, and he’s just, he’s one that I’ll follow and our family will follow forever. He’s absolutely wonderful, we love him.”
 
Gleason was diagnosed with ALS, a terminal neurodegenerative disease, in 2011. He grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga Prep then Washington State University, and eventually played eight years of pro football. Money raised during this weekend’s fest in Spokane goes to Team Gleason, a foundation supporting ALS patients. Indie music bands will play from 2:00 to 10:00pm on Saturday.

More information is at gleasonfest.org.
 
Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio
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