When I was a little girl in first grade, my teacher, Mrs. Johnson, went on maternity leave. In her place, we had Ms. Filz, a retired educator who had taught my Daddy and Uncle Mike. Ms. Filz looked really old and frightening to me when I was seven. She was old-fashioned and strict, but she was a sweet lady and I grew very fond of her in the short time she took charge of our class. I remember being sad when Mrs. Johnson came back, only because I did not want Ms. Filz to leave.
The truly interesting thing about Ms. Filz was that she had been stricken with polio as a child and walked with a metal brace, much like those seen in photos of President Franklin Roosevelt. The brace looked heavy and painful, but she was used to it and did not seem to mind. So when the March of Dimes representative came out from Jacksonville every year after that and talked about the organization’s rich history of fighting childhood diseases, including polio, I was always eager to collect my coins for a cause that had a personal face.
Now, as a mother of two preschoolers and a teacher of psychology, I am incredibly honored to volunteer for the Big Bend March of Dimes.
This past week, my best friend Kaitlin (mostly Kaitlin) and I hosted our school’s Second Annual March of Dimes 5k. The article was featured in the Tallahassee Democrat. We are proud to raise funds for Team Chiles for this April’s March for Babies, to be held at Tom Brown Park.