Great Circle celebrates the founder’s 80th birthday

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, staff members at Great Circle’s Tom Butterfield Campus gathered around to celebrate Butterfield’s birthday with a potluck lunch. The annual potluck to celebrate the founder’s birthday always features hot dogs and beans homage to what was a staple meal during the ranch’s early, financially lean years. This year, the celebration also featured a special birthday cake made by Jacqulynne Knox with a picture of Butterfield’s hand holding a child’s.

Danielle Linton-Hatfield/Democrat-News

According to the campus, Feb. 10 marks what would have been Buttferfield’s 80th birthday. In 1982, Butterfield, 42, died after decades of personal commitment to helping children address their emotional and behavioral issues. During the lunch, staff reminisced about the organization's history, as well as shared stories about Butterfield’s legacy.

In brief, Butterfield opened Butterfield Boys Ranch more than 50 years ago in an abandoned country club in Marshall as a place for children who had no family. The ranch was later renamed Butterfield Youth Services, until 2015 when it merged with Great Circle — a statewide behavioral health nonprofit that reaches more than 40,000 children and families each year. Butterfield opened the ranch when he was barely out of his teens, helping many children in need within the community. Hollywood came to Butterfield’s ranch to film “The Children Nobody Wanted” (1981).

Today, Butterfield’s ranch continues to provide 24/7 residential care, as well as therapeutic services for youth and adolescents.

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