Pandemic Can't Stop Butterfly Ceremony

Jul 13, 2020

Monarch butterfly released at a ceremony sponsored by Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Credit Hospice Care SWMI

An annual program in southwest Michigan to remember lost loved ones will continue despite the corona virus pandemic - virtually.

The butterfly release events are sponsored by Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Spokeswoman Katie Paauwe says they are an appropriate way to help people remember those who've died.

"And (they're) a symbol of, kind of the metamorphosis and the transition of going through hard things and turning into something beautiful."

Glass keepsake that will be given to donors in the virtual butterfly release
Credit Hospice Care SWMI

Paauwe says a small number of real monarch butterflies will be released later this month at Battle Creek's Leila Arboretum.

"I think, this year, because we're doing it virtually and we're just releasing some for the video, we'll probably do 25 live butterflies."

But Paauwe says those who donate at least $30 will receive a glass butterfly as a keepsake. She says the organization hopes to raise at least $10,000 by July 24th.

"We're a nonprofit hospice, so we don't turn away anyone. And we want to make sure that we have funds available to be able to help anyone who needs us at the most vulnerable times at the end of our lives."

The fundraiser also helps cover the cost of grief counseling services. The virtual butterfly release and other activities begin July 18, 2020.