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Memories take flight at annual Hospice Butterfly Release

by jmaloni

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Mon, Jun 29th 2015 11:20 am
Butterflies take in nectar from surrounding plants at the 2014 Niagara Hospice Memorial Butterfly Release. (Contributed photo)
Butterflies take in nectar from surrounding plants at the 2014 Niagara Hospice Memorial Butterfly Release. (Contributed photo)

Niagara Hospice will hold its 12th annual Butterfly Release from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 18, in the Memorial Gardens at 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport.

Butterflies were chosen due to their status as a symbol of hope in many cultures. The event is open to the community and families or individuals are invited to release butterflies in honor or memory of loved one, regardless of whether or not they ever received hospice care.

There will also be activities including a bounce house, children's games, balloon art, refreshments and live music.

"This will not be a sad, memorial-type service, but rather a day of rejoicing the life your loved one lived," said Patricia Degan, director of marketing and public relations for Niagara Hospice. "Families are welcome, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to show younger children that, along with the grief of death, there is also a time of hope and renewal."

Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator Mandy Raff said more than 350 butterflies are released into the gardens each year.

"The butterfly release is definitely one of our most-loved annual events," she said. "It provides an opportunity for families and individuals to celebrate the people closest to them, and it brings the community together in a very special way."

To purchase live butterflies, hand-painted sun catchers and butterfly plants, call Niagara Hospice at 716-280-0766 or visit www.NiagaraHospice.org to order online or to print an order form. Live butterflies are available by pre-sale only until July 10.

All proceeds benefit the programs and services of Niagara Hospice.

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