NEW ORLEANS -- A board hanging at Lucy's Surfer Bar in the Warehouse District doesn't generally draw attention, but this is no ordinary board.
Last summer, Jeff Lakey paddled it across Lake Pontchartrain from Mandeville to Metairie to raise awareness and money for Team Gleason and Steve's "No White Flags" mantra.
A never-give-up philosophy and a decal on the front of the board helped Lakey endure the eight-hour, 24-mile journey in the 100 degree heat of July
“Which just always kind of kept me going, mile 10 and then mile 12 and mile 18,” Lakey said. “And so when it started to get tough, it just kind of always kept you in that mindset to just finish.”
Lakey said Gleason's inspirational battle with ALS moved him to want to help in any way he could, which meant climbing onto his paddleboard.
For others it might be something else. Regardless, Team Gleason's message is delivered.
“They're trying to inspire people to inspire other people,” Lakey said. “You know it doesn't just stop with them. It seems like it’s getting people to do things they wouldn't normally do.”
Jeff saw the No White Flags movement and decided to paddle across Lake Pontchartrain. The board gets hung up at Lucy's, and now in true Team Gleason spirit, Lucy's is going to pay it forward again.
“So I've been in touch with the Warehouse District Business Association, and for the Falcons game on Nov. 21 we're joining a bunch of businesses together and a percentage of all of our sales are going to Team Gleason,” said Debbie Schumacher, general manager of Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar.
Schumacher said everyone who sees the board and reads its story has something to say about it, and thus Gleason is able to touch another person.