Kimberly Ansin ’77
- Lawrence Academy ’80
- Amherst College, BA ’84 – Major: History; Minor: Political Science.
- University of Florida, JD ‘94
- Member of the Florida Bar since 1994
Favorite Applewild Memories: in no particular order . . .
- Shoveling off the rink with Mr. Storrs
- Lacrosse with Mr. Sutton
- Yearbook and photography with Mr. Storrs and Mr. Rabideau
- “Survival” with Mr. Harman
- English and Music with Mrs. Crow
- “Oliver” and running through the streets of Fitchburg for the live filming portion of “Oliver” with Mike Mullins
- Shop with Mr. Thomas
- Tennis with Mr. Bates
- French class up in the attic and the French trip with Monsieur Clemens
- Science labs with Mr. Hunt
- Social studies and the salmon hunting project with Mrs. Holloway
- Hanging out and the many chats we enjoyed with Mr. Sutton
- Math games with Mr. Storrs
- Watching Lyle Wheeler (maintenance) turn red with pretend anger about anything and everything
- Latin and the Roman plays and games with Mrs. Doe
- Geography and History with Mr. Goodwin
- Lunches with Adrienne Burke and Nancy Bernhardt
Add to those above: Mr. Kay, Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Newell, Mrs. Suri, Mrs. Cragin, Mrs. Sawyer, Mr. Weller, Mr. Carlson . . .
Applewild instilled in me a strong sense of belonging to a community. I recall feeling each day that I was first and foremost part of a larger “we”. My classmates and I learned, felt, experienced, laughed, were tentative, travelled and eventually moved beyond Applewild as both individuals and as important parts of the group we formed. We grew together as “we”, our class. On the academic front, I learned to value critical thinking at Applewild from teachers who wanted not rote answers, but the “why” behind the response. I have come to realize that I had some excellent teachers at Applewild. Just as important, however – I had warm and caring mentors who “took the time”. Applewild teachers knew then and continue to know now, their students. I learned to value my own intelligence. I learned to strive and to improve. And I learned morality and caring, as these values were modeled for all of us every day in teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-student and, most of the time, student-to-student relationships. Applewild gave me the foundation and the confidence I rely on daily. Hodding Carter’s words frequently come to mind as I consider why it is that I moved back from Florida so that I might send my own children to Applewild: “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Somehow, Applewild does both, from pre-Kindergarten to the early teenage years.
Classmates may remember Kim for her athletic achievement while at Applewild. In Upper School, she was a tried-and-true team member of the field hockey, basketball, tennis and lacrosse squads. From those humble beginnings, Kim has become a tireless fitness enthusiast whose recreational interests range from triathlons to yoga to Pilates on the reformer to cycling – both indoors leading spin classes and outdoors training for the mother-of-all bike rides – the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC).
The PMC is a grueling two-day, 200-mile ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown, MA. It’s the nation’s original fundraising bike-a-thon and it raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. The PMC generates nearly 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is its single largest contributor. (The Jimmy Fund is the charitable organization that helps fund cancer care and research at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute.)
Kim used to make charitable donations to sponsor friends who had taken the Challenge. To participate, each rider must raise nearly $5,000 for the cause. Then Kim joined “Lilly’s Pad,” the team named for the niece of Kim’s friend. The team’s objective was to raise enough money to build a new waiting room designated exclusively for pediatric cancer treatment patients, whose vulnerable condition made it risky for them to be exposed to the general population.
This year, Kim took on the Challenge independently. She rode to honor the memory of her recently deceased in-laws, Gloria and George Blanchard. Gloria braved a bout of bladder cancer for four years before finally succumbing to the disease. George, who cared for her throughout her long illness, died shortly thereafter, of a broken heart. Kim’s efforts memorialize these two wonderful individuals. You might say that in her characteristically selfless way, Kim isn’t in it for glory; she’s in it for Gloria! (and George).
Depending on your point of view, Kim is either inspirational or insane. Cyclists in the PMC choose from 10 routes of varying mileage designed to cater to all levels of cycling strength and time availability. Can you guess which route Kim chose? The most grueling – Sturbridge, MA to Provincetown, MA. To prepare for the Pan-Mass journey, Kim worked several rides of varying intensity into her schedule each week, including some 40-50 mile mid-level rides and a few arduous 80-90 mile rides toward the end of her training regimen.
She balanced her rigorous training schedule with her myriad other responsibilities. She has three busy sons, Applewild student Scott ’18 (who plays Pop Warner football after school) and Lawrence Academy students Kurt (a senior who is now heavily involved in the college application process, in addition to playing football, wrestling and lacrosse) and Nick (also a football, wrestling and lacrosse team member). Both Kurt and Nick are members of Applewild’s Class of 2011.
Kim is also a practicing attorney, now doing various forms of legal drafting. She serves on the Board at Applewild and has served in that capacity at the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, ARC Community Services in Fitchburg, the Multi-Service Center in Leominster, the Fitchburg Art Museum, Oakmont Pop Warner Football, the United Way and AIDS Help, Key West.
Kim credits Applewild – specifically her teachers then and the faculty and staff now at the school – for inspiring her to ride, to train, to stick with all challenges when it gets scary or painful. Doing one’s best to help other people and to make a bit of a difference for them, and hopefully the community within which we live, are perhaps the most important lessons she learned at 120 Prospect Street in Fitchburg.
Posted: November 21, 2013