Butterfly ceremony becomes popular event

in Community/Health/News by

By Bob Sofaly

What started out as a small, personal ceremony to honor lost loved ones, turned into a community-wide remembrance of all loved ones with a release of a thousand butterflies called Release and Remember, sponsored by the Friends of Caroline Hospice, on Saturday, May 8, at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

LaNelle Fabian, Director of Community Engagement for Friends of Caroline Hospice said, “Every year we do a memorial service for the families of our patients who have passed. It was so well received we decided to share this with the community and let them get involved.”

Kris Legge, right, gets photographed with his new friend perched on his shoulder. Legge’s new pal was one of 1,000 “painted lady” butterflies released en masse during Saturday’s inaugural Friends of Caroline Hospice Release and Remember fundraiser at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Photo by Bob Sofaly

Fabian said they released 1,000 Painted Lady butterflies during the inaugural event and a small donation was made to Friends of Caroline Hospice for each butterfly released.

Some of the butterflies hadn’t warmed up sufficiently to take flight and remained stationary for a while, giving observers an ample opportunity to take pictures. Many fluttered to the ground for a few minutes and then took off. It didn’t take long for the popular waterfront park to be full of the small, orange butterflies.

Fabian said the Release and Remember ceremony will be an annual event and, although Saturday, May 8, had no actual significance, it might be the date in perpetuity.

“It was just the date we picked,” she said. “But weather is perfect and not a cloud in the sky. This may be the date we use moving forward.”

Top picture: Elaine Lake, left, sings a moving rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow as “painted lady” butterflies are released. Photo by Bob Sofaly