Hi everyone! I am so honored to have been chosen to be a part of The Play Brigade 2020 Boston Marathon team! As a runner, its always been a dream of mine to run Boston, and I am excited to be able to do so and benefit such an amazing cause.
I have been asked a lot recently why I chose this particular charity to support, as an autism charity might be a more natural choice. While our family does support many autism charities, The Play Brigade supports inclusion for EVERYONE and to me that is important!
I first met Dawn in the 90's at Syracuse where we were sorority sisters. I learned about The Play Brigade a few years ago, and thanks to social media I was able to follow the amazing work they have been doing from afar. Every time I would read an article that was shared on social media or read about an event put on by The Play Brigade it changed the way I thought about things. I started looking at the environment around me and my behaviors and questioned what I could do to promote inclusion. I chose this charity because it changed the way I think, and I want it to change the way you think too!
For those of you that know me well, you might be surprised that I am running Boston for a charity, since running a BQ marathon has always been a goal of mine. I never set out to find a charity to run Boston for. In fact, the charity found me! Last spring, while I was recovering from a back and hip injury, not running and feeling pretty miserable, I came across an article in Runner's World about Michael Besson, a visually impaired runnner who was running Boston to support The Play Brigade (and is running again this year!!!) It was such a powerful story that I thought to myself "This is the only charity I would ever run Boston to support." Luckily for me, my injury finally healed and as I started to think about one last marathon, the opportunity to be a part of this team presented itself. I truly believe it was fate!
As the mom of a child with a disability, I have seen how important inclusion really is, and I know how heartbreaking it can be when your child wants to participate but can't. Not only have I seen my son thrive when he is able to particiapte, but I have seen the other children and adults around him benefit as well. Every child, teen and adult should have the right to play, participate, be included, and thrive and The Play Brigade is making that happen. Please donate and share to support my dream of running Boston and The Play Brigade's mission.
Creating a world for all individuals where there are no barriers to play, recreation, or sports, and where inclusion is the cornerstone of community.
When Boston-area parents Dawn and Justin Oates realized their local playground was not equipped so their mobility-impaired daughter Harper could play alongside her siblings, they had a vision of creating a world for all individuals where there are no barriers to play, recreation, sports, and where inclusion is the cornerstone of community.
From that vision, The Play Brigade was born to educate people about the importance of fun, regardless of age or ability; provide inclusive play, recreation, and sports opportunities to communities and organizations; and develop programming that brings both together.
The Play Brigade is honored to have the support of John Hancock Financial and partnerships with The National Inclusion Project (co-founded by entertainer Clay Aiken), the City of Boston Parks & Recreation Department, the Town of Brookline Division of Parks and Open Space, and the Boston Red Sox.
Please consider making a 100% tax-deductible donation to this important cause, and you will see how your contribution directly impacts the community in a way that is both tangible and vital.