Education: Gunston Day School in Maryland; bachelor’s in sociology at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia
Family: Husband, Kim; three children
Mentors: My parents
The spirit of community service comes naturally for Helen Butcher. The life-long New Orleanian only has to recall her family’s history of volunteering and giving: In 1881, her great-great grandmother was a founding member of the Christian Women’s Exchange, a community organization that bought the historic Hermann-Grima house in the French Quarter. Family members that followed continued the tradition of giving their time to various volunteer and service organizations. Butcher, a successful fundraiser who’s on the Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses board, is doing her part by raising funds and awareness for many important organizations in the city.
How did you get into fundraising?
My grandmother and mother were both members of the Junior League. I’m a sustainer of the Junior League and I enjoyed my years being in it. With the Junior League, you’re exposed to other non-profits around the city, and I chose my path of volunteering being for children and preservation.
What is your motivation?
When I’m involved in an event, it’s because I’m passionate about the cause for raising those funds. I’ve chaired an event for Ochsner Hospital, an event for Children’s Hospital, an event for Longue Vue House and Gardens and a wine auction for Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses.
What are the challenges?
It’s not just the dollar amount being raised, but educating the people on why they’re supporting the event. If they can really understand why we need these funds or why we’re raising this money, it could pull at the heartstrings or it could make a lightbulb go off.
When did you know this would be your path?
I knew that I would definitely give back to my community. Growing up and observing my mother and grandmother, aunts and my father all volunteering in the community, I knew I’d probably go that way.
Why is your upcoming fundraiser so special?
The Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses has an annual fall party on Nov. 10 honoring the Leadership Circle of the Historic Houses Society. I remember growing up, going down to the Hermann-Grima House with my mom and participating in the soiree, which was the old fundraiser. This (organization) is where my mother has been involved since the early 1970s. My grandmother was involved from the late 1950s. When they asked me to be on the board, I felt honored that I could contribute.
iBERIABANK is proud to present a series of profiles featuring entrepreneurs, volunteer activists and artists whose work is making a difference. As iBERIABANK continues to make significant investments in our community, this special feature focuses on a few individuals who are doing the same.
While we can not include everyone who is inspiring change and worthy of recognition, we are proud to highlight a select few who give tirelessly to our community with their time, energy and passion.