Mary Wilmer grew
up in Dunkirk, New York during the Depression. She chased her two
brothers and rode her horse, Shillelagh. In high school, Mary went
to a boarding school in Maryland, became the May Queen and captained
her basketball team. She went off to Smith College and quit to marry
Henry Wilmer (causing her father to have a fit).
Mary had 4 children.
Mary also began to drink heavily - beginning a lifelong battle with
alcohol. It was her daughter, Molly, who helped her begin the first
steps of fighting the addiction with running. One block at a time.
Then one mile at a time.
the family trait and herself fought this battle. While out on a
run, Molly had a epiphany. She had to do two things. Stop drinking.
And empower younger women to stop feeling that they had to be other
than who they were. Molly launched "Girls
on the Run, a 12-week program which empowers young girls with
skills to enhance self-esteem and confidence.
Mary passed away
recently. She outran alcoholism. She beat lung cancer. She lifted
weights and wore Birkenstocks. She loved Molly for her twinkle in
her eye, for her generosity of spirit, and for inspiring a new generation
of girls to "have the self-esteem that I never had."