Rita Butler Harris is a native of Good Hope (Walton County), Georgia. She graduated from the Monroe Area Comprehensive High School in Monroe, Georgia and moved forward to obtain a Business diploma. Rita currently resides in Buckhead (Morgan County), Georgia with the status of married with two children and four lovely grandchildren.
Later in life, Rita experienced a significant decrease in her vision. After a series of extensive tests, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, also commonly known as R.P. This caused a very difficult transition with her being independent to becoming dependent. Rita’s life changed drastically, not being able to work, drive or carry out daily activity routines. Mrs. Harris connected with GVRA (Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency) to receive training for mobility and activity daily living skills. After the completion of successful training, Rita traveled to Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester Hills, Michigan for an Accelerated Orientation and Mobility Training Course. With this being another successful training, Mrs. Harris was recommended to apply for the guide dog program. Through Leader Dogs for the Blind, Rita traveled to Naples, Florida where she attended extensive training and graduated with her guide dog Madden.
As a result of her journey to gaining independence, Rita Butler Harris implemented Madison (Morgan County), Georgia’s first 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides support for the blind and visually impaired, titled “Living Life Team, Inc.” Rita is a member of the local Madison Lions Club. She also holds the position of 2nd Vice District Governor which will rotate to 1st Vice as of July 2023, followed by District Governor of Lions Club International (LCI) in July 2024. Also, she is a Certified Peer Supporter through the Georgia Peer Support Training and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) committee member for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Rita and Madden are featured on a wall in the international terminal at Concourse F.
Rita was honored to have had the opportunity to travel to Ghana, Africa on a mission trip, in which she provided assistance to the local villagers who are blind/visually impaired. Mrs. Harris also had the privilege of visiting the Akropong School for the Blind and presented the school with a monetary donation on behalf of Living Life Team, Inc.
Rita plans to partner with companies and organizations to raise awareness through presentations to effectively assist people who are blind or visually impaired, as well as introducing guide dog etiquette. Rita Butler Harris acknowledges God for giving her the vision to help others. She continues to persevere in “Making a Difference”.