Butterfly Release honors loved ones

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Butterfly Release honors loved onesPeter and Gabriel Neipp release butterflies in 2017 in memory of Donna Williams. — Photo by Rebecca Neipp

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In keeping with the universal connection between the butterfly and rebirth, countless residents will honor the lives and memories of those touched by Hospice Services at the eighth annual Butterfly Release ceremony on Saturday, May 5, at 11 a.m. on the front lawn of the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.

“The Butterfly Release is a very personal, touching event that resonates with many people, including children,” said Tamara Tilley of the RRH Development Foundation.

“The event allows people to remember those they have lost, or honor those they love, and it provides Hospice an avenue to explain its role and services.”

Hospice serves as many as 100 families per year, providing end-of-life care, comfort and support to patients and their loved ones. In addition to being a venue for healing and transition, the release ceremony also serves as a major fundraiser for Hospice — which is currently undertaking to raise the $300,000 necessary to build a Hospice House locally.

But the main motivation for the ceremony, said Tilley, is to increase awareness of the hospice program.

For many patients, Hospice is a favorable alternative to invasive treatments that can reduce quality of life while still providing the level of care that patients need. “Hospice is often provided in a hospital or a nursing home, but having a Hospice House can lessen the financial burden by avoiding unnecessary hospital visits, and it offers a more comfortable environment. Perhaps one could say it offers dignity to the patient,” said Tilley.

“Unfortunately, during this difficult time in their life, many patients do not have family who can provide that necessary component of in-home care. When we initially began this campaign, one member of the Hospice team told us that it breaks her heart to know that there are individuals without this type of support.”

That was the final motivation for taking on the project.

“We see it as an extended part of the hospice experience and hopefully as a healing for the benefit of those who have been through the experience of losing a loved one. The event has been well received in the community and provides a very sentimental and emotional connection for families and friends.”

Tilley said the Development Foundation took up the campaign to raise funds for the Hospice House and is so far nearly a third of the way to its fund-raising goal.

Other fund-raisers include “A Night Under the Stars … Making Dreams Come True,” set for Sept. 15, as well as a monthly giving campaign that allows individuals to contribute as little as $2 per month toward the cause.

“We hope it might encourage some of your readers to partner with us to accomplish this worthwhile goal.”

Each painted-lady butterfly — to be released during the ceremony — is available for a $20 donation.

Information and forms for enrolling in the Butterfly Release are available by calling 760-499-3617.

To make arrangements for a separate contribution, call Tilley at 760-499-3855 or e-mail tamara. tilley@rrh.org.

Story First Published: 2018-04-13