A star-studded cast filled the Senior Center this afternoon, to honor Barbara Butler. Town and state officials, longtime volunteers, and the heads of the library and Y — among many others — paid tribute to the head of Westport’s Human Services Department.
But calling Butler — who retires tomorrow, after 27 years of service to the town — a department leader is like calling the Beatles “a band.”
30 3 decades here, Butler has overseen every age group from teenagers (Youth Commission, Toquet Hall, Staples High School outreach) to seniors (Senior Center, Baron’s South elderly housing task force).
She’s been involved with tax relief, casework, career coaching and emergency preparedness. She’s helped homeowners pay for oil, and provided suits and dresses for needy Staples grads.
Butler helped found Project Return and the A Better Chance of Westport program.
She’s been a member of the TEAM Westport diversity group, and served with Positive Youth Development and the United Way. She’s a past president of the League of Women Voters.
Next month, the RTM votes on the formation of a new Commission on People with Disabilities. Butler spent her final weeks on the job helping launch that project.
In her spare time, she runs. And rows.
The Senior Center was packed today with her bosses (past and present), colleagues, friends, family and fans.
But if organizers invited everyone Barbara Butler helped over the past 27 years, they would have needed Yankee Stadium.
And still turned folks away.