Patrick lived at Butterfield from 1972 to 1983 and basically grew up here. When Patrick was 18, he joined the U.S. Navy. After 15 years, he left the Navy and pursued a carreer in emergency fire and rescue. Soon after 9/11, he began working with the Department of Denfense performing emergency rescue for our troops in Irag and Afghanistan. During a recent visit, Pat had this to say about the impact that Butterfield had on his life.
My name is Patrick Holcer; I came to Butterfield when I was about eight years old. I had the privilege of knowing and learning from many outstanding counselors, as well as Tom himself. I give credit for most of my successes in life, to the caring people of Butterfield Youth Services. I stayed with Butterfield until my 18th birthday, at which time I received my proclamation of emancipation from the state of Missouri, and thus I began making my own way.
27 years later, during one of my visits to Butterfields, I was asked if I would be interested in putting pen to paper and reflecting on memories of my childhood at BYS. As I ponder the countless fond memories of growing up at BYS, I noticed most of the memories always included one of two people; Ellie Butterfield and Jerry Carton.
Ellie Butterfield, as most of you know, is the most caring, loving, and genuine person you will ever of had the privilege of knowing in your life. I recall she always had a smile on her face, open arms for hugs, and an infectious pleasantness that could turn your worst day around. To this day, when I think of Ellie, it brings a smile to my face and that same warm comfort that I felt as a ten year old child.
I remember Jerry Carton as being my first mentor. Although I didn’t realize it then, I learned some of my most valuable lessons from this man. Patience, perserverence, attention to detail, and positive self- esteem to mention a few of the virtues I gained from him. Jerry’s willingness to share his knowledge and incredible talents in a multitude of genres, help develop problem solving skills that later in life would prove to be the pillars of my success.
As I come to end of this small article, I realize how deeply both of these wonderful people impacted my childhood. I am truly a better man, because they were both in my life. Although many years have passed, I still see the same quality of people in the staffing at BYS today. The smiles on the children’s faces and the confidence they exude, are a testament that the Ellie Butterfields’ and Jerry Cartons’ of this world are alive, present, and making a difference at BYS still today.
Thank you for everything you do , every single day, in your attempt to help the kids of BYS. It will be the small parts of yourself that you give to these kids, that will help them become happy and successful in their years to come.
BYS is accredited nationally as a Children's Residential Treatment Center, by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children (COA) http://www.coanet.org/