Butler Honored with Fannie Frank Distinguished Employee Award
CANTON – The United Helpers organization has more than 30 employees with 20 years of service or more. Only one of them though began their career with United Helpers at the age of 57.
Gail Butler, of Canton, who was recognized with this year’s Fannie Frank Distinguished Employee Award, works as the front desk receptionist at United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care. She started at United Helpers as a Certified Nursing Assistant in 1993, after spending most of her life working as a full-time mom raising 12 children. This year she will celebrate 30 years with the company.
“She is typically the first person to greet anyone entering or calling our building, and there is no one I would rather have to make that initial welcome,” said Rehabilitation and Senior Care Vice President of Operations Timothy Parsons. “Her people skills are impeccable, and her friendliness is infectious and brings comfort to all who interact with her.”
While Mr. Parsons said Mrs. Butler is “considered by all to be a wonderful receptionist and employee,” it is what she does outside of her regular duties that truly set her apart.
“In the mornings, before starting her shift at the front desk, she can often be seen or heard visiting with and singing to our residents in their dining room. She is known to join some of our musical guests, lending both her musical and dancing talents to our Activities Department,” he said.
That’s not all, though, as Mrs. Butler also brings her love of gardening to the building during the spring and summer months.
“She serves as ‘Master Gardener’ for our facility and maintains several large flower beds around the property, giving them daily attention and brightening the moods of all who pass by,” Mr. Parsons said. “She never seeks attention. She does all of these things naturally and never looks for recognition. She does enjoy gardening but does it here primarily because the residents enjoy her talents. It is her pleasure to serve others. She loves her job and it shows.”
The Fannie Frank Award was established by longtime United Helpers volunteers Dr. Edward and Barbara Gordon in 2019 to pay tribute to Dr. Gordon’s grandmother, a Polish immigrant who moved to the U.S. prior to World War I with her parents and six of her nine siblings.
The award is a $1,000 cash bonus and is awarded based on the following criteria:
- A remarkably caring demeanor
- Currently employed at United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care
- Continuous employment with United Helpers for two or more years
Dr. Gordon grew up in New York City in close proximity to his grandmother and credits her with instilling in him a love of animals that would eventually lead to his career as a veterinarian.