OK, so you have back surgery but it doesn’t quite work out the way you’d hoped.

You hurt.

You find that you’ve lost your balance.

You have to use a walker.

OK, so you have back surgery but it doesn’t quite work out the way you’d hoped.
You hurt.
You find that you’ve lost your balance.
You have to use a walker.
Sue Butters faced that dilemma in January 2002, but instead of getting angry, she got a walker and a dish rag.
“It’s been a rough row to hoe,” Butters said recently, about an hour from when she left her Blue Springs home for Vesper Hall. Visiting friends, singing in the choir there, eating lunch – that’s just the beginning of her daily afternoon routine.
When she’s done eating, she moves as quick as she can with her walker into the kitchen and gets her supplies: a bucket and rag mostly, but sometimes after-lunch supplies, too, like coffee she delivers to a blind man.
“The people at Vesper asked if I wanted to volunteer, to help out cleaning up and I said I would,” Butters said. “It makes me feel good and it’s good for me.”
Butters spends about two hours a day, five days a week, at the center. Becoming a regular at Vesper Hall turned out to be the best thing for her after she moved to Blue Springs with her husband from Des Moines, Iowa about 14 years ago.
Her husband had changed jobs. Butters had worked as a nurse.
“I didn’t really know anyone,” she said. “Then I heard about Vesper Hall. It’s a great place. They get a kick out of the things I do.”
Like wearing different colored aprons. Heck, helping out in her condition is worth a shock or two.
“I think people are surprised by it, maybe,” she said.
Substituting her walker for a movable cart/table, Butters cleans as many as 28 tables a day, moving as quick as she can in the cafeteria.
Helen Crimi met Butters a few months ago at Vesper Hall. The two took an immediate liking to one another, and soon Crimi joined Butters in her cafeteria efforts, cleaning tables and delivering small items to people who ask.
“Someone was supposed to help her, but she didn’t show up,” Crimi said. “So I volunteered. It’s not that she needs my help, she does the work quite well, but... it’s helpful to her, and we’ve become friends because of it.”
Their friendship is not exclusive to Vesper Hall. The two take regular trips into Kansas City, visiting places of interest.
“We’ve gone to Union Station, Powell Gardens,” Crimi said. “We do what we’re able to do.”
Crimi also found Vesper Hall after someone recommended the center, located on Vesper Street, just off of Missouri 7. Her son had moved to the area and asked her to move; Crimi had been living in St. Louis at the time.
“I gives me a place to go, something to do,” Crimi said.
Butters sings in the Vesper Hall Choir as well. Singing soprano,  it’s an opportunity to sing for the friends she helps. In addition, she volunteers where she can at her church, North Spring United Methodist Church in Blue Springs.
Recently the church was the site of a burglary. A drum set was stolen and is still missing. It’s a story she’s told people at Vesper Hall many times, but so far – no leads, no information. She’s hoping someone comes forward.
“The church is relatively new,” she said. “The drum set being stolen sets us back a lot, and it’s probably long gone, but you just have to move on.”
As she did after back surgery.