KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho-- Former Gonzaga Preparatory, Washington State University, and NFL star Steve Gleason continued his public battle against ALS while raising money for charity on Monday.
When Gleason was first diagnosed with ALS he told friends that he did not want to do any charity golf tournaments. Yet, Gleason eventually changed his mind and hosted the Steve Gleason Classic.
The fundraiser happened Monday at the Golf Club at Black Rock
ALS forced Gleason into a wheelchair and took away his voice, but he has since become a national symbol of the fight against ALS over the last two years. His slogan “No White Flags” was seen everyone on the golf course.
“Steve is a huge inspiration for us and has been since he played at Prep,” said Gonzaga Prep Head Football Coach Dave McKenna.
The event raised money for charity and brought Gleason’s friends together south of Coeur d’Alene.
“The message isn’t about home necessarily,” said Zach Bode. “It’s about the greater cause.
Bode was Steve’s former teammate at WSU and one of a few former Cougs to hit the course. Among the WSU alum were Jed Collins who plays for the New Orleans Saints.
“His spirit hasn’t changed,” said Collins. “He still finds the positive. He still smiles and laugh as much as he can every day.”
Gleason ended the tournament by using his synthetic voice to deliver a message to everyone.
“Thank you for being my heroes,” said Gleason.
The money from the Steve Gleason Classic goes to the Gleason Initiative Foundation which supports people locally fighting ALS.