Hospice of Miami County’s ‘DIY Memorial Butterfly release’ brings healing to families with lost loved ones

Local News

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Nearly 100 butterflies were released as part of the Ohio Hospice of Miami County’s first ever ‘DIY Memorial Butterfly Release’ on Sunday.

Traditionally the release is done en masse in a large park.

“It’s so beautiful because you’re standing up and you see al lof these [butterflies] released at once,” remembered Donna Huelscamp, a hospice volunteer who was also releasing a butterfly on Sunday.

This year, the organization had Painted Lady Butterflies delivered from California, then passed out to participants who had pre-registered. All of the participants stayed in their cars to receive their butterflies in a healthy and safe way.

“This is not our typical scenario but we’re certainly grateful that peole can still participate in a new and unique way,” said Susan Walker Hemm, development coordinator with Hospice of Miami County.

Participants say that although the even looked much different this year, they were still glad to participate because it was a part of their healing process.

“It was like saying ‘Hi’ to my daughter,” explained Wanda Vetters, a hospice volunteer and participant.

In 2021, Hospice of Miami County is hoping to have their new building open which will feature their very own butterfly garden to continue the tradition.

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