Ice bucket challenge raising funds, awareness for ALS

Ice bucket challenge raising funds, awareness for ALS

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's taken social media by storm, photos and videos posted of people dumping ice over their heads, but there's a serious purpose to the latest internet buzz in that its helping raise money for ALS, a disease that has no cure.

Spokane native Steve Gleason has fought a public battle with ALS over the last several years and his foundation, Team Gleason, hopes this ice bucket challenge continues to bring awareness to this disease.

When the ALS ice bucket challenge started sweeping the nation, Gleason did his naked.

"In typical Gleason he went bigger than the rest of us," Ryan Thielman with Team Gleason said.

Steve's stepmom Jackie is amazed by the support.

"Who would have ever imagined it would be so huge," she said.

In two weeks the ALS Foundation has raised $5.7 Million; during the same time last year the foundation raised only $1.2 Million.

"Remember it's not just about dumping ice on your head although that's kind of fun," Jackie said. "It's about donating and knowing what ALS is and getting behind and getting it funded."

Donations for Team Gleason have nearly doubled from this time last week, but it's more than money, it's also about about awareness. Steve's college buddies Ryan Thielman and Ryan Durgan are trying to get Spokane to jump on board.

"In the end we want to try to find a cure for ALS so all this awareness is helping the cause and locally Spokane can make a big difference in that," Thielman said.

Thielman and Durgan also issued a challenge to a couple of Cougs.

"Coach Leach and Bill Moos we want to see a video of you of you guys dumping water on your heads," they said.

Team Gleason is hosting the annual Gleason Fest next Saturday from noon to 11, another way you can support ALS locally.