Honoring an Extraordinary Volunteer

by Judy Goodman

Lucille Kramer is an 18-year volunteer for the Walker Scottish Rite Clinic, a Maryville University program that is committed to teaching two-through six-year-old children with speech and language disorders the communication skills necessary to succeed in school and throughout their lives. With early identification and therapy, children can be helped at home when parents use special therapeutic techniques.

At age 91, Lucille helps Walker Clinic therapists at Maryville University at least once a week, doing whatever makes their job easier. Her roles include all kinds of needed tasks, as well as serving on committees. “You can’t just sit and do nothing!” she said.

Services are provided to parents and children at the main clinic on Maryville University campus, as well as multiple locations in St. Louis City and County, and Jefferson, Franklin and Lincoln Counties. Services are free to families regardless of financial status or insurance coverage, and funded by corporate and foundation grants, fundraising events and individual donations.

Lucille has worked on the annual KidTalk Fundraising Gala for years and was proud to be honored with the Walkie Talkie Volunteer of the Year Award two years ago, “especially because the Temptations performed at the event.”

“I volunteer because of my deep desire and commitment to do things for others,” she said. “When you do something for somebody else, you’re not thinking about yourself all the time. I try to help all of the wonderful therapists in their work with the children and enjoy helping out. I so value the pleasure of being with young people in a positive atmosphere, which does provide a nice lift.”

Lucille explains her weekly schedule of volunteering on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so she has a four-day weekend. She also enjoys spending time with friends, going out to early dinners and, sometimes, visiting the casino. Lucille especially delights in her son’s family including her three grandchildren (ages 39, 41 and 43) and four great grandchildren: three girls and one boy.

Lucille retired from teaching after 38 years working for St. Louis Public Schools. She taught in grades third through eighth over the years, ending at the outstanding Mullanphy-Botanical Garden Elementary School.

Her other significant passion is volunteering at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis, where she has bonded with many families over the years and continues to see them and receive their cards. Growing up in a strong Masonic family, with her father and husband as Shriners, Lucille served as past president of the Moolah Temple Club, past Queen of the Sydyk Temple Daughters of the Nile and past Queen of Job’s Daughters.

To learn more about the Walker Scottish Rite Clinic, visit www.srclinic.org.

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