A Tribute to Barbara Harper

While she’s never technically been an employee here at the Butler Family of Dealerships, she is a spectacularly BarbaraFBwonderful woman that has influenced our dealership immensely.
Her husband worked at Butler for years in the 80’s, her son, Les, has worked in administration for over 20 years and we are honored to have five Living Opportunity employees because of her! Who is this fabulous lady? Her name is Barbara Harper and she’s just “wonderful!”
So why are we awe struck? Barbara’s story begins as the mother of four sons, one – Charlie – who was born with Down ’s syndrome in 1949.
At that time, Dr. Downs had not discovered “Down’s Syndrome” and the doctors told Barbara and Bill that their son Charlie was a “Mongolian Idiot” and that he wouldn’t live past one year old. If he did, he would be a “crib vegetable” and they instructed her to leave him in an institution and forget him. Barbara vehemently cried NO! She would raise him until she was no longer able. Charlie moved out to a group home when he was 28 and lived a wonderful, full life until he died from complications of Alzheimer’s at the age of 63.
Barbara and her husband Bill became founding board members of Living Opportunities, Inc. in Medford. Living Opportunities was established in 1974 to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they learn to live, work, and play in the community.
LivingoppBarbara refused to give up the dream that Charlie could live a “normal life” just as her other three sons did. “We’re all different but we all think we’re normal. So what is normal? I haven’t figured that out yet,” she laughed.
Living Opportunities gave Charlie that chance, as well as so many other children who otherwise would be left on the fringes of society. Thanks to Barbara, Bill, and the other founding board members, children and adults with disabilities will have the quality of life they deserve.
To read more about Barbara’s story and the strides made in the last 50 years with intellectual and developmentally challenged people go to: 

Butler Auto’s Guy Fowler Wows with Chairs at FurnARTure

Way back in July when we first invited you to FurnARTure, the signature event to benefit The Studio at Living Opportunities, we had no idea our very own body shop manager was putting his skills to work on a couple pieces to be auctioned off at the event. It was only after the Adirondack chairs were built and about to be painted that Guy Fowler let us in on the action. With a tiny bit of help in the form of a stencil Guy created a pair of lovely his-n-hers chairs featuring a tree theme. The coolest part is that he used automotive paint (it’s hard to see how beautifully they shine!) so this yard décor is truly weather resistant!

On a side note, the event yesterday went fabulously. The nearly-sold-out crowd went wild for an assortment of furniture and wall décor, all to raise funds to keep The Studio open. Butler Automotive Group is beyond proud to support Living Opportunities and The Studio, and invite you to learn more and get involved.

Living Opportunities Names Butler its Business Partner of 2014

Living Opps Business Partner Award May 2014Butler Auto Group is humbled to have been named Living Opportunities’ Business Partner of 2014!  Most of us found out when it was announced at the Livin’, Lovin’ Luncheon last week.  But it turns out Linda Butler had known all along; She just wanted the rest of us to be surprised!  And, boy, were we!

Living Opportunities supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in living, working, and playing in our community. One of the ways that mission is served is by matching their clients up with employment at local businesses.  Butler is proud to have five Living Opps clients on staff.  Among their many duties are making auto stickers, doing janitorial work, and helping in the office.  But what Matt, Ian, Brad, Victoria and Ken bring to our organization is so much more;  They are polite, funny, eager to work. They make the rest of us better people. Curtis Hancock noted that when Matt comes to work a sense of peace settles over the dealership simply because of who he is.

So, while we thank Living Opportunities for the award our deepest gratitude goes to Matt, Ian, Brad, Victoria and Ken.  We aretruly honored to work with you.

Butler’s Proud to Employ Three Living Opps Clients

living oppsButler Auto Group is excited to be working with Living Opportunities!  We’ve recently hired three Living Opps clients to work at both our Medford and Ashland campuses.  Matt and Ian are doing janitorial work while Misty helps out in the business office at Butler Acura.  We couldn’t be happier to have them on board!

Living Opportunities is a nonprofit organization that provides support to developmentally disabled people and their families.  Services run the gamut from residential housing programs, to assistance with banking, to sessions at the Studio at Living Opps, an art gallery that allows clients the opportunity to explore their creative side.  Butler’s been a longtime supporter of the Living Opps mission.  In fact, founder Linda Butler says she’s attended the organization’s fundraising lunches for years, occasionally bringing a manager or two along for the ride.  Just recently two of those managers approached her about job opportunities for Living Opps’ clients.  “It’s a really sweet program,”  Mrs. Butler says.  Service Manager Curtis Hancock agrees saying he thinks he gets more out of Misty and Matt’s employment than they do!  “It’s fun to work with them,” he says.  “They’re uplifting and inspiring.”

To volunteer, donate, explore hiring opportunities or just learn more about Living Opportunities visit http://www.livingopps.org/