Representing Birmingham, AL in Japan

Hello Neighbors and Friends!

I'm reaching out to ask for your support.

The Birmingham Track Club (BTC) has a regular runner exchange with Birmingham's sister city of Maebashi Japan. Three runners from Birmingham are selected by BTC to represent the city following an essay context detailing why they would make a good ambassador for the city of Birmingham and the running community. I was chosen! I have been given the honor of representing Birmingham (and Bluff Park!) for this year's Maebashi Shibukawa City Marathon/ 5k on  April 21,2019. The City of Maebashi will sponsor my accommodations and food but its up to me to foot the bill for the airfare.  As your ambassador to Maebashi, I’m asking for community support in helping me represent our beautiful city and community.  (Here is a  BTC account of previous exchanges


I live in Bluff Park with my grandmother who has been a resident for more than 45 years! As a military dependent I moved around a lot, but this is the one place I could always remember the address and felt "at home" (mainly because of my grandmother). While I did not serve in the military like my forefathers, I spent several years overseas working in Humanitarian Response and Human Rights. I currently work as a Program Manager at the University of Alabama on a research project focused on community factors that lead to veteran suicide. I try to give back in as many ways as I can. Unfortunately, I don't have Coach Saban's salary so I'm asking for your support!

You don't have to be a member of the BTC to enjoy the chronicles of my journey. I will have an online blog (in the making) that I will use to share my experience. This is a great opportunity for you (or your kids) to learn what it means to have a sister city, and the exciting discoveries of Maebashi, Japan as well as sports diplomacy (Definition: sports diplomacy describes the use of sport as a means to influence diplomatic, social, and political relations. Sports diplomacy may transcend cultural differences and bring people together.) If you are a local business and want to have international exposure let me know! Any donations over $100 will get your logo on my race shirt! (How many people can say they have that kind of reach?) and on my website. Whether its ten or a hundred (or more!) I thank you for supporting me in this! If you can't donate, I understand, but perhaps share my story with others so they can feel inspired (and maybe help me out too :))

Thank you wonderful friends and community!


36937634_1549741218336560_r.jpegThat's me, after a color run. If you haven't done one.... they are so much fun!!!


  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • Sarah Robin 
    • $20 
    • 5 mos
  • Carolyn VanWinkle 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Geri + David Laufer 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos


Wesli Turner 
Birmingham, AL
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more