NEW ORLEANS — The Team Gleason House for Innovative Living, which was created by former New Orleans Saints special-teams star Steve Gleason, received a $350,000 grant Wednesday from Chase Bank.
The grant is set to fund the development of technologies that help patients with neuromuscular disorders.
Gleason’s dream of building a house to aid patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which he was diagnosed with two years ago, will come to fruition next month with the facility’s grand opening.
The grant is slated to provide funding for eye-sensitive technologies that will help patients control doors, lights, televisions and other devices used in everyday life.
Using a computer-generated synthetic voice, Gleason told an attentive audience — including Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu — during a Wednesday news conference that, with the right support, right technology and a purpose, ALS patients can live up to 40 years.
“With the right funding, ALS patients can be productive for decades. And, eventually, we can find a cure for ALS,” said Gleason, who was joined for the announcement by his old teammate and friend Scott Fujita.
“Steve wanted to do something to help patients with ALS live and thrive,” Fujita said. “This disease is underfunded and largely ignored, and that is unacceptable.”
Super Bowl Boulevard, the centerpiece of a free four-day football and music festival at Woldenberg Park, is slated to open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The highlight of the festival’s kickoff will be the arrival of a barge on the Mississippi River carrying Super Bowl XLVII numerals that measure 30 feet high by 100 feet wide.
The NFL named the seven-man officiating crew that will work Sunday night’s game.
The referee will be Jerome Boger, a nine-year veteran who will be working his first Super Bowl. The rest of the crew includes umpire Darrell Jenkins, head linesman Steve Stelljes, line judge Byron Boston, field judge Craig Wrolstad, side judge Joe Larrew and back judge Dino Paganelli.
Class-action lawsuit tossed
A federal judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit that a Saints season-ticket holder filed against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the league’s bounty investigation.
The suit, filed by David James Mancina, claimed the NFL’s sanctions against the team punished season-ticket holders more than anyone else and sought more than $5 million in damages.
U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan rejected the notion that season-ticket holders were the only ones who could have experienced “mental suffering” from the team’s 7-9 finish.
Sandy Hook chorus to sing
The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School will sing “America the Beautiful” before the game. The chorus features 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed Dec. 20.