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Warm hearts abound, but cold weather grounds butterflies

The cool and gusty weather conditions didn’t deter the estimated 70 people who turned out for Nathan Adelson Hospices’ 10th Annual Butterfly Release on Sunday at the Calvada Eye.

The event is based on Native American folklore, where the “Great Spirit” hears the message of the butterfly, while the prayers of those missing their loved ones are conveyed through the butterfly.

Nathan Adelson Hospice’s Community Outreach Manager, Susan Holecheck said the event allows family and friends of those who have passed away to keep their memories close to one’s heart.

She also noted that some of the butterflies didn’t seem to take the cool temperatures very well on that day.

“I think because it was a little too cool for the butterflies and they were a bit tentative when we open the boxes,” she said. “They didn’t really take off and soar towards the sky like they normally would do.”

Attendees appeared to be well-prepared for the weather conditions as many arrived with blankets and chairs for the brief but thought-provoking ceremony.

As the organizer of the event, it was Holecheck’s first major fundraiser since she assumed managerial duties with the agency.

“I was very, very eager to see how the whole event turned out and I thought it was a great turnout considering the winds were blowing very, very strong,” she said. “The program was fairly short which was nice considering the weather.”

Holecheck also spoke about the significance of the butterfly and what’s known as the “Great Spirit.”

“This event is related to an Indian legend that says your wish will be granted through the butterfly who whispers to the Great Spirit,” she said. “The Great Spirit always answers to those wishes because it’s a celebration of life. When you think about it, the butterfly starts out as a cocoon then it has a dormancy period and then there’s the rebirth of this beautiful entity. If you see anything associated with Nathan Adelson you will always see the butterfly as a symbol.”

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