The Butterfly Effect
by Rachelle Wheatley
Memorial Day weekend will mark the fifteenth year that Friends of Hospice, together with Hooper & Weaver Mortuary, will create a beautiful Butterfly Garden to remember and honor loved ones in our community. This time-honored event has become a much appreciated community favorite and is visited by over 500 people each year.
Like so many of the Friends of Hospice events, Butterfly Garden of Remembrance began with an ‘exploratory committee’ seeking new fund raising opportunities that would serve and involve the community. The committee, consisting of Beth Moorhead, CeCe Fowler, Pat Casterson and Kay Baker, discussed several options and they all seemed to drift toward a Memorial Day event. As with any fund raising venture, one idea leads to another. A spark of inspiration finds new avenues for creativity. Gardens and the butterfly symbol are commonly used in association with hospices around the world. Why not a garden of butterflies? Thus, the Butterfly Garden emerged as the favored idea and quickly gained excitement and interest from Friends of Hospice members. The new event committee, along with many Friends of Hospice volunteers, took the seed of an idea and turned it into the beautiful event we all know and love today. B&C Hardware sponsored the first 300 butterfly stakes used in the inaugural year. Over the last 15 years, many others have contributed to the purchase, replacement and repair of the butterflies. Between 2009 and 2011, Lawrence and Judy Faller donated 111 new butterflies. They were also instrumental in contacting Nevada Union High Schools’ Ag Mechanics instructor and students who agreed to make the new butterflies for Friends of Hospice.
As we celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of our Butterfly Garden of Remembrance, long time residents will see that while the ‘garden’ has grown, the event remains much the same as when it started. This year, over 700 beautiful butterflies will be installed in a special area at Hooper & Weaver Mortuary. People are invited to write the names of their loved ones and a special message on Remembrance Cards which are laminated and attached to the colorful wrought iron butterfly stakes. A $15 donation or an amount of your choice is requested for each Remembrance card. This Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd, 24th and 25th, the garden will be open for visitation from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Everyone is welcome to come and walk through the Butterfly Garden — whether or not they’ve created a Remembrance Card. To find out more about the Butterfly Garden of Remembrance or to make donations for Remembrance Cards, call 274-5121.
All proceeds from the Butterfly Garden of Remembrance directly support the programs and services provided by Hospice of the Foothills. The generosity of our community, through donations and fundraising events, means Hospice of the Foothills can fulfill the promise to never turn anyone away for lack of ability to pay. We care for our community and our community cares for us.