Help make the nevers possible by supporting sensory accessibility and inclusion for ALL.

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Ashley Dawson running Mercedes for KultureCity

I am running Mercedes Half on Sunday, February 12 for KultureCity and to help raise awareness for sensory needs!

I am excited to help raise awareness and funds to help KultureCity further their mission to make our community more inclusive for those with sensory needs and invisible disabilities!

I love to run and use that time often for prayer and meditation. I’ve had the privilege to run with several friends that are involved with KultureCity and learn more about the opportunities it offers. Besides prayer I wanted to do more, so when I was asked recently if I’d like to become an ambassador and support the cause I was thrilled and especially since this race is in my hometown with the support of friends and family along the way!

1 in 6 individuals have a sensory need or individual disability that keeps them from participating in their community (ptsd, autism, dementia, strokes just to name a few). KultureCity provides the resources and tools to help these individuals feel safe so they feel apart of and can participate in their own community.

I’m ready to not just run this race, but run for a cause! Join me to make a difference!

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Learn more about this amazing organization by visiting their website at

$100 raised of $500

Purpose is Power

I am the proud mom of two beautiful boys, Ethan and Owen. In 2021 Ethan was diagnosed with Autism and so began the process of learning, understanding, and adapting to life with a child whose needs are different from his peers. For sometime, Ethan had struggled in social situations–we’d mostly noted that he was shy, but his shyness was at times paralyzing. It hurt to watch him not be able to enjoy events and places that other children navigated with ease and joy. The impact of this was pervasive; no person in our family was unaffected. If Ethan got anxious or uncomfortable, so did we. Oftentimes we would make changes (bringing two cars to parties, leaving playgrounds early if Ethan was overwhelmed) that directly impacted Owen’s experience and that caused him to miss opportunities that he’d otherwise enjoy. In these moments, it felt like choosing sides–picking one child’s needs and  preferences over the others. The guilt of making these decisions was crushing and cruel. 

One day I bought a family membership to a local zoo. As we entered I saw a sign indicating that the zoo was sensory friendly and made note to read more about the organization designated on the sign–KultureCity. As I began to scroll through the website I was awestruck. I downloaded the app and we used it that week, over spring break. I shared the social stories found on the app with both boys as we visited several places that were KC certified. Both children liked looking at the pictures and knowing what was to be expected, I felt less anxious because I knew we were prepared. More importantly, there were spaces and tools for us to use if needed; we could do things differently, rather than being denied. 

I had been an avid runner for a while before kids, before an Autism diagnosis, before I knew about KultureCity. I have turned to running as an outlet for stress many times in my life and I’m grateful for all that running has given me (health, friendship, and sense of accomplishment).  In 2020 I decided that I’d begin working towards running a marathon in all 50 states. While it is a long term goal, I am happy to partner with KCfit along the way. This year I will be running the Chicago Marathon, Antelope Canyon 50 Miler (my first 50), The Flying Pig Marathon and finally New York City 26.2. My goal is to not only fundraise for sensory acceptance and adaptive programs but to share my experience in hopes of helping others. Purpose is powerful and I am excited to run for an organization that I feel deeply connected to.


$325 raised of $10,000

Charity Charles: Running To Make The World a More Inclusive Place For All

Why I’m running (again) in 2022:

INCLUSION is a word that carries it’s weight in gold.

Being an inclusive human being costs nothing. Think about a time you felt excluded in your life… and think about the barriers that individuals with visible and/or invisible disabilities face. Does exclusion feel like the norm for many of our peers? There are millions of stories that are not told – lets create memories, share stories and make the nevers possible for EVERYONE.

On April 8th, my dear friend David Jaffin’s mother, Roberta, tragically lost her battle with cancer. I watched David’s strength of making sure his mother’s memory lives on battle his sadness of her loss. David shared his interest in running the marathon with his mother, making sure to include her in this journey.  May we all display David’s strength and share our stories with those around us to further inclusion.

Positive vibes always,

Charity Charles


Why I ran in 2021:

  • My mom, Momma Lerner, was a speech pathologist for elementary school students with invisible disabilities. I vividly remember going to work with her and experiencing the joy that she brought her students by making them feel included. Parents told her that because of her work, their children were able to communicate better. I remember thinking to myself how unfair it was that we could so easily go to a ballgame as a family, but that other families did not have the same opportunity for reasons they could not control. Kulture City is giving these families opportunities to experience the same joy that every child deserves.
  • My dad, (legendary moustache) Abe, immigrated to America with his parents, both Holocaust survivors, when he was 8 years old without a dollar in his pocket and knowing no English. He started working at 14 years old, ultimately owned his own business #Avignone, and gave me the most incredible education any child could ask for.
  • My Aunt Merle was in a car accident 38 years ago. After the doctors first said she would not survive, and then told her that she would never walk again, she (with the help of my mom, dad and her entire community) defied all odds through perseverance. To this day 38+ years later, although more often seen in her yellow motorized wheelchair endearingly nicknamed ‘bumble bee,’ she can still walk, feed herself, and inspires those around her.

I am running the marathon for all the families my mom impacted, for my dad’s parent’s, for my Aunt Merle and to create opportunities accessible for ALL people. These 26.2 miles are for all of you.

My ‘why’ in life is to make the world a more inclusive place – thank you for your support in this journey!

$21,040 raised of $26,200

Danielle Yancey

Danielle Yancey Runs NYC Marathon for KultureCity

Running 26.2 miles again this year in the NYC Marathon on Sun, Nov 6th, 2022, for KultureCity! Raising awareness and funds to help KultureCity further their mission to make our community and world more inclusive for those with sensory needs and invisible disabilities.


Join me as I train and run this year’s 2022 NYC Marathon and please help by donating through my fundraiser for KultureCity. I trained and ran last year’s NYC Marathon as a challenge to see if I could complete it after my 2018’s double surgery on my hip & hamstring. I was so happy to cross the finish line last year for KultureCity and those with sensory needs and invisible disabilities and to help raise money to continue many programs across the US and world including: providing Sensory Bags at public venues, providing Mobile Sensory Stations at events, continuing to provide Sensory Inclusive First Responder Certifications across the U.S., building more Sensory Activation Vehicles to take to outdoor events (baseball games/concerts) and indoor events (conferences/exhibitions) and many more!


Those with sensory needs includes children and adults with autism and Down’s syndrome, military veterans with PTSD, adults with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke patients and many more.
Learn more by visiting their website at
Hoping to cross the finish line again this year. Please follow along each week with my training and please support my fundraiser for KultureCity!

$14,020 raised of $5,000

Ali Hoover

Ali Runs NYCity For KultureCity

I will run the NYC marathon on November 6th in support of KultureCity, an organization that creates possibility through sensory accessibility, acceptance and inclusion for those with invisible disabilities.

My whys: Persistence, Creativity, Inclusion

Anyone who knows me, will know that I am stubborn, or in more positive terms, persistent. While I fully understand the word no, and why it must often be used, I also know that it can be followed by a why or why not? What barrier could be removed, or what change could be made to create an opportunity, instead of a dead end? (I am not living if I am not creating something). And if I don’t have the answer, who else could I ask or enroll to help find one? I like to believe that challenges, like puzzles, can be met and solved, especially when we all come together. Everyone has something to offer, and the results can be pretty incredible when people feel included in bringing their contributions.

KultureCity appeals to me for the very simple reason that they work to solve the challenges to inclusion, by tackling the barriers to equal access for all. While I was first introduced to KultureCity through running and their philanthropical fitness branch, KCFit, my “eureka” moment came when I took a deeper dive into the story behind the organization and how they view inclusion. These three lines are so simple and yet so profound,

“You see, there is a fundamental difference between awareness and acceptance.

Awareness always gives you an out.

Acceptance does not.”

I will run the NY marathon on November 6th with all of my persistence, to help create inclusion and acceptance for all. I will run to honour all of those who work tirelessly for acceptance.

$6,095 raised of $6,000

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