People gathered at Bellevue Park on Thursday evening to release butterflies with ARCH Hospice.
This event included live music, face painting and, of course, the releasing of the butterflies.
ARCH Hospice Support Services Manager, Julie Premo, has been involved with the butterfly release since it’s inception four years ago.
“I was at ARCH Hospice for only six months and I met this lovely lady, Dorothy, and she said ‘Do you have a butterfly release as a fundraiser, because so many other hospices do,'” Premo explained. “At that time we didn’t, so I had three weeks, back in 2015, to try and pull it all together, and in (those) three weeks, we had over 200 butterflies sold. So our goal every year as it goes on is that we want to get to 600 butterflies – this year we had about 350.”
Premo said this event is important because it’s a very transformative experience.
“Every year, we invite the community to come to the Bellevue Park band shell and release their very own butterfly, and it’s a very transformative experience – a lot of meaning, if you look at what the butterfly means, and that metamorphosis, so it could mean to someone living life to the fullest, it could be commemorating the loss of a loved one, it might be celebrating a birthday – but very transformative, healing. We have live music, free face painting for kids, Entomica is here to help promote more information about the butterfly and how you can support their ecosystems, and by growing gardens that can help them,so it’s a beautiful community event and definitely one of my most favourite ARCH Hospice fundraisers.”
She went on, saying, “They’re live butterflies, so sometimes they stay with you for a moment, sometimes they stay with you for hours, and in that moment, it’s just magical, you can’t really explain what’s going on, but I think in life it’s being mindful, present, and when you’re at this event and in unity with everyone, it’s so peaceful and calm and that’s really what we’re going for.”