The fifth annual Gleason Gras Fundraiser and Race took place on Oct.3, 2015 along Bayou St. John at Team Gleason House which is located at St. Margaret’s in Mid-City, New Orleans. The festival and race helped raise funds for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. The event was named after Steve Gleason, a former Saints football player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.
“It was a good run; I enjoyed it a lot. It was longer than a normal 5k though sitting at 3.7 miles. My mom told me about the run, and we decided to do it together,” Ryan Townsend participant said.
The race began early in the morning and included people of all ages. A stage, beer truck and various food and drink booths filled up the festival area. When of age participants finished the race, they received free beer as an award. After entering into the festival grounds, both participants and nonparticipants who attended to support the cause were able to enjoy the entertainment, silent auction and live auction.
“We sold so much today, and all of it was donated to the cause. Our booth had a lot of different types of beers. We had Coors Light, Bud Light, Abita Amber, Blue Moon and others. We also had mixed drinks and wine. By the end of the night, we only had one type of beer left. Everyone seemed excited to have a good day, supporting a good cause,” Kristin Powell, Bev Inc. employee, said.
The silent and live auctions raised a substantial amount of money to help create new technology for those struggling with ALS. Bid items included were Saints jerseys, helmets, footballs and a tour of the Mercedez Benz Superdome. Drew Brees even made an appearance in order to show support for Gleason. Drew Brees helped during part of the live auction in order to sell one of his autographed jerseys. The bidding went up to $3,000.
Music entertainment included at the festival included Paul Varisco and the Milestones, Tysson, Flor Tribe, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Better Than Ezra. The 610 Stompers also performed. The event went on until 8 p.m.
“The music was great. I was mainly there for Better Than Ezra, but all of the rest of the bands were good too. Altogether it was a really fun festival,” Mckensey Lynch, attendee of the event, said.
Below is a video of the band, Tysson, performing at Gleason Gras.