The first Gleason Gras happens today

AP

On Monday night, the Saints will host the Giants on Monday Night Football.  A day before attending the game, folks in New Orleans will be able to attend Gleason Gras, an event aimed at raising awareness for ALS and funds to assist the treatment of former Saints player Steve Gleason, and to eventually provide for his family.

ALS, an extremely serious health condition in which the patient gradually loses the ability to control his body, has been tied in recent years to repeated head trauma.

As explained by Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the music festival, which could become an annual event, includes a tent in which Saints players will be signing autographs.  Held in Champions Square, Gleason Gras begins at 11:00 a.m. CT.

“I’m looking at the Gleason Gras as the intermission between Act 1 and Act 2, or the closing scene in Act 1,” Gleason told Duncan.  “The vision of this thing is to go national or global in terms of raising awareness.  We realize we can have an impact in the course that this disease will take and have the ability to raise enough awareness to help find a solution.”

Last month, Gleason’s wife, Michel Varisco, gave birth to their first child, Rivers Varisco Gleason.  “I’m very lucky to be able to bring my son into such an amazing, loving family environment,” Gleason said.  “We’re united about purpose, goal, family.  That’s the thread that runs through everything.  We’re all a part of this.”

For more information about the effort, visit the Team Gleason website.