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Gleason Fest is alternative to Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’ve been on Facebook in the last couple of days, you likely haven’t been able to escape the Ice Bucket Challenge.

It seems that everybody from Oprah Winfrey to your neighbor down the block has done his or her own version of the viral sensation: You film yourself being doused with a bucket of ice water, then nominate others by name to do the same, to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

It’s all for a good cause – although that doesn’t mean it hasn’t inspired some controversy. But there’s an even better way to support the cause, and it doesn’t involve a shockingly cold ice bath.

It’s called Gleason Fest, and it’s a one-day indie music festival that takes over downtown Spokane on Saturday. All proceeds from the festival go to Team Gleason, which is working to educate the public about ALS and is dedicated to funding research for a cure.

Named for Spokane native Steve Gleason, a former NFL player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, Gleason Fest offers a mix of local and touring bands, including California rock quartet Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real (that’s Willie Nelson’s son, by the way), Seattle’s the Grizzled Mighty and Spokane acts Mama Doll and Hey! Is for Horses. The music begins at 2 p.m. and continues through 11 p.m.

If you’re unable to attend, you can still support to the cause: Visit to make a donation.

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