AUBURN, Mass. – Auburn Youth and Family Services (AYFS) recognized Ray and Sue Butler of Midstate Auto Group for having a “major impact on the lives of children in Auburn” at AYFS’s 36th annual breakfast meeting on Wednesday.
The Butlers received the 12th annual Auburn Children’s Friend Award for “raising countless dollars for the organization and helping AYFS in so many different ways,” according to AYFS Executive Director Sally D’Arcangelo.
“I saw that AYFS was something in the local community that I could be part of,” Ray said. “I saw I could make a difference, and here we are five years later."
He added: “It’s a great honor to get this award. It means a lot to my wife, my family, and we’re very excited.”
The Butlers have raised money for AYFS in various ways at Midstate Auto Group in Auburn, such as donating $25 for every car sold in a month, and donating $30 for every picture signed by New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead. Ray also participated in AYFS’ “Dancing with the Stars,” and Ray brought Woodhead as a special celebrity model to the organization’s fashion show.
“His family is like an angel that was placed here to help in so many different ways,” D’Arcangelo said. “It’s a long-term relationship that has been going on for years and will continue. I don’t know what we would do without people that we find like that.”
The Butlers were also recognized by state Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and state Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn), who both brought congratulatory citations from the Statehouse.
AYFS also honored the Auburn Public Schools with a Community Partnership Award. AYFS board member Lynne Ellis said the schools have done a lot for AYFS, especially through the “work experience program” where students clean the AYFS building at 21 Pheasant Court, and help a food pantry.
D’Arcangelo said AYFS could not have assisted about 3,000 people without the help of countless residents from the community.
“Auburn Youth and Family Services is so supported by the community,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without all the help we get from our Board of Directors - who are all volunteers - and student-interns, who are all volunteers. Also, we can’t thank enough the staff and the community people that come forward to help us with the 16 different programs and services we do.”
AYFS is a private, nonprofit, multi-service organization for children, young adults, and families. The programs are offered primarily to Auburn residents, while also serving individuals from surrounding communities.
Services include counseling, tutoring; advocacy; information and referral; after-school and summer programs; support groups for children, adolescents and parents; a food pantry; and a clothing closet.
For more information, visit http://www.ayfs.org/.