Pictured at right: Maria, left, and Quinn Roth releasing their monarch butterflies in Melissa Penfield Park in Plattsburgh.
PLATTSBURGH— On Saturday, June 1, dozens of people released 132 monarch butterflies in Melissa Penfield Park in Plattsburgh to celebrate spring, happiness, and the delicate balance between life and death.
The event, which is organized by Hospice of the North Country, made its debut in 2006 as a way to remember lost loved ones.
“Everybody grieves differently, but it’s nice to come together and see nature, and see how the butterfly symbolizes life,” said Amanda Bow, Director of Development and Communications for Hospice of the North Country. “That’s really what this is about—celebrating life.”
Bow said the event has grown throughout the years, and many members of the community, even those who have never experienced hospice care, now participate.
The butterfly release also gives people who once had loved ones in hospice care a chance to reconnect with hospice staff, including RNs, LPNs and social workers.
Some people, like Jackie Cobb, become involved in hospice after seeing it first hand.
Cobb said she began volunteering for North Country Hospice after her father received hospice care in 1993.
She now works for the organization, and participates in the monarch release every year to honor her mother and father.
For Maria and Aaron Roth, who participated in the butterfly release for the first time this year with their children, Quinn and Cassidy, it seemed like a good way to enjoy the day while supporting a good cause.
“We thought it would make a good family event,” Maria said. “This will definitely become a tradition.”
Hospice of the North Country will be releasing 168 monarchs at the Malone Memorial Recreation Park in Malone on Saturday, June 8 at 10 a.m.
Butterflies cost $20 each.
The cost covers the expense of the butterfly and the remainder supports Hospice of the North Country’s projects and bereavement services.
To reserve a butterfly, contact Amanda Bow at 561-8465.
Visit hospicenc.org for more information.