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South Texas Living

A ‘Dame Who Makes a Difference’

A ‘Dame Who Makes a Difference’
Mary C. Forister (right), formerly of Floresville, presents Floresville South Elementary schoolteacher Tamara Pfeil with a $4,000 check to the special needs fund at FISD. Her monetary donations over the years have helped to fund Community-Based Instruction and equipment in the PPCD and Lifeskills classrooms in FISD.

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April 17, 2013
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Since Nov. 16, 1984, Mary C. Forister, a former resident of Floresville, has been a member of the Embassy Chapter Colonial Dames XVII Century of Austin. In September 2012, Joan Lawrence, president of the chapter, called Mary to tell her she had nominated her for “Dames Who Make a Difference.” On March 1, Mary, sure she would not win, attended the 75th annual State Conference in Round Rock and was surprised when she was presented with a community service award and named as a Dame Who Makes a Difference.

The award serves to bring attention to the efforts of respected, honored women who have performed acts that better the lives of those around them.

Mary began life faced with both profound personal and physical adversities. However, she had been gifted with an indomitable spirit which would not let her surrender to circumstances and which would not allow her to see others remain in similar straits if she could change things.

She had a goal to provide a special school in her hometown for children with handicaps who otherwise would have to leave home for an education in another city, which she accomplished in Floresville with the former life skills building, now the Courthouse Annex 3.

Mary has published five books on her family and has been recognized by the Texas State Genealogical Society with its Outstanding Award in Family Histories. Despite physical adversities, this dame taught herself to type, is active in her church, writes poetry, has served as a Neighborhood Watch captain, and has countless other accomplishments. Mary is truly a Dame Who Makes a Difference.

“Parents Of A Special Child”
By Mary C. Forister (1980)

God gave you a special child for a special reason.
God loved His children so much that He gave His Begotten Son to ease your pain.
Do not be ashamed and hide your guilt,
As nobody is perfect.
God is never too busy to listen to you.
He is always available, twenty-four hours every day.
You want to enjoy life, music, animals
And feel the fresh air,
So does your child,
You need to exercise your muscles, eyes and brain,
So does your child,
You want to make your own living,
So does your child.
A special child needs love, patience and understanding,
So does your normal child.
A child will reward you in a special way,
Same as God would.
Teach your child about God, life and death.
It won’t be easy,
But you won’t regret it.
A special child has a special gift,
Thank God for that.
Thank God for my parents,
For not sending me away,
Because I too, am a special child.

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