LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – March is women’s history month. To celebrate, First News at Nine is proud to present remarkable women. Each week in March, we’ll be recognizing local women who have made remarkable contributions in their communities. Every Tuesday and starting tonight, we’ll share a story highlighting one of four women who inspire, lead, and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Tonight, our story is about Sallie Butcher, an Altoona, Wisconsin woman whose dedication to community work has helped Veterans cope with PTSD.
“I’ve known Sallie for a few years now. She was interested in what we were doing with our veterans and gave me a call one day and said, ‘hey can I come up for a tour, show me around and show me what you do’,” said Toni Mattson, owner of Trinity Equestrian Center.
“She had just an incredible heart and interest in the work that we do with Vets. We are in our twelve years now. We use our horses; we partner with them and we do equestrian physiotherapy. It’s a lot of big words for basically partnering with horses and having those relationships grow between the veteran and the horse.”
“My name is Sallie Butcher. I knew I wanted to do Trinity because of the work they do with the Veterans and the PTSD. Two of our children live with PTSD. The work they do with the Veterans is what spoke to me because it’s more of the connections the veterans make with the horses. It’s that connection, it’s not a clinical setup that they have, and they basically take them out to the pasture, and either the Veteran picks the horse, or the horse picks the veteran. And that is where the work begins,” said Butcher.
“It’s not about me, it’s about what I can do for others. And to be able to do this, makes me feel wonderful as well. And to be a good role model to my kids. To see my kids are passing that on to my grandkids, that’s the best thing that anyone could ever ask.”
Mattson said, “She has been devoted to helping us and our program and expanding and just raising the awareness and reaching all different parts of not only the community but the state. And that is how she brought the eagles to us.”
Sallie’s husband, Arthur Butcher said, “I didn’t marry just a good person I married somebody that’s rather exceptional. She’s a longtime member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and she became a state officer, and she worked her way up to the Auxiliary State President and she spearheaded an effort to raise money for Trinity Equestrian Center Volunteer Veteran’s program and they raised over $12,000 for that.”
Mattson said, “When Sallie and her group come alongside us and support us the way they do; it changes everything.”