Gail Gleason’s son can no longer play football. He can no longer walk. He can no longer talk.
But through his charity, Steve Gleason can still help others.
This was the goal of “Strikes for Steve,” a celebrity-amateur bowling tournament featuring Glenn Johnson, Bill Moos and other members of the WSU community, held Sunday afternoon at Zeppoz in Pullman.
The event, created by four WSU sports management students as a class project, helped raise money for Team Gleason, the charity of former WSU and NFL player Steve Gleason.
Team Gleason helps those battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease with no known cure. Gleason was diagnosed with the disease in January 2011.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Gail Gleason of the support for her son, her eyes welling with tears. “We couldn’t have asked for three more supportive communities than New Orleans and the Saints, WSU and Pullman, and Spokane and Gonzaga Prep.”
Charles Johnson, a senior sports management major, is one of the students responsible for organizing the tournament.
Johnson and his three partners began putting the event together in January.
While their financial goal was to raise $3,000 and get a good grade on the project, Johnson said they simply hope to have created more awareness in the fight against ALS.
“I think we’re going to make a difference,” he said. “We’ve put our hearts into it, and whatever grade we get; it’ll be fine. Just knowing that we have this memory in our brains is…special enough.”
While the four are graduating next month, Johnson said they would love to continue the event into the future.
Chris Lebens, a graduate assistant who mc’d the event and will next year teach the sports management course the four students are taking, said the event also showcased the quality of WSU’s sports management program.
“My students next semester have a lot to live up to,” he said.