Jenna Wagner and her daughter Lynden Seltzer, four, released butterflies in memory of Jenna’s father. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

(VIDEO) Langley’s annual butterfly release: Painted ladies, painted cheeks and precious memories

Butterflies enchant people of all ages at an annual Langley fundraiser.

Jenna Wagner has daubed paint on little cheeks to create facepainted butterflies every year since Langley’s charity butterfly release started five years ago.

Last year the Port Coquitlam woman decided that she would take a moment away from her facepainting at the event to take part and release one of the gossamer flyers.

The butterfly release benefiting the Langley Hospice Society and the Langley Care Foundation has come to have a special meaning for her. Wagner’s died dad on the same day as the previous butterfly release two years ago.

“He passed away that evening. When I was done painting, I went to the Port Moody hospice and I was able to be by his side.”

Her dad had, in his 40s, survived a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In his 60s, he battled for two years before dying.

Wagner, with her four-year-old Lynden Seltzer and boyfriend Ian Smillie, found a quiet spot in the flower gardens at Krause Berry Farms where the event was held Saturday this year.

Lynden squealed when one of the painted lady butterflies emerged from its small cardboard carton and lit upon the front of her floral dress before making its way to some milkweed.

(Story continued below)

On Saturday, the gardens and fields at Krause saw huge crowds and more than 460 butterflies released.

The butterflies sold out farther in advance this year than for the previous releases. Organizers are still tallying the event costs but the event has netted more than $10,000 for the two causes.

Most of the items needed are donated. The butterflies are purchased from a local breeder. Krause provides the venue and has added attractions such as fairy princesses and Batman impersonators, the facepainting, and more.

“It was wonderful to observe the success of the butterfly release,” said Michael Brown, chair of the Langley Care Foundation. “With a good crowd in attendance, it is clear that the popularity of the event is increasing and that the memories of the day are treasured by many families. Two local charities with important missions benefitted from a fantastic community turnout. We are grateful to sponsors like RE/MAX Treeland Realty and of course to the many other donors who were generous. Seeing so many smiling people all in one place, at one time, inspired us all.”

In the past the event featured a timed release of the butterflies but organizers now provide the bugs in their small cartons and let people do the release at their leisure.

“Everyone come’s for such different reasons,” noted Shannon Todd Booth, the the hospice society’s manager of communications and funds development. “We wanted to respect the fact that everyone has their own reasons.”

Some people take part in the butterfly release in honour of a deceased loved one while others use it as a celebration. Todd Booth said there have been birthday parties that took part.

Whatever the reason, the event is growing each year with huge crowds in addition to the many taking part in the butterfly release, and many people coming from throughout the Lower Mainland.

“This is our third time,” said Pitt Meadows mom Sue Pasha.

Her family releases butterflies to celebrate her mother overcoming serious illness.

“This event has been a fabulous collaboration from the very beginning,” said hospice executive director Nancy Panchuk. “It has been heartwarming to see the butterfly release grow each year and to see how the community comes together to participate in this poignant event in support of our two important Langley charities. With the support of Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery, the Langley Hospice Society and Langley Care Foundation staff and volunteers have helped create a special experience that provides an opportunity for individuals, friends and families to come together and create their own moment, in memory, in honour or in celebration.”

 

The butterflies, after their release, often flew to the nearest flowers, offering shutterbugs the opportunity to capture some up close images. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

The butterflies, after their release, often flew to the nearest flowers, offering shutterbugs the opportunity to capture some up close images. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

The butterflies, after their release, often flew to the nearest flowers, offering shutterbugs the opportunity to capture some up close images. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

The butterflies, after their release, often flew to the nearest flowers, offering shutterbugs the opportunity to capture some up close images. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

The butterflies, after their release, often flew to the nearest flowers, offering shutterbugs the opportunity to capture some up close images. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Keilana Dearing donned her wings to attend the event with her family, and had a chance to meet Belle, one of the impersonators from Out of the Rain Character Events. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Aldergrove’s Sydney, Sophia and Maddison Dyck all had butterfly decorations. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Only those releasing butterflies were able to go into the floral gardens and designated release areas but huge crowds lined the edges to watch. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

The painted lady butterflies sometimes landed upon people. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Joshua Dolman’s family came from Delta to take part in the butterfly release. One spent a few minutes on his finger, a sensation he described as ticklish. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

The butterflies even wanted to meet the Disney characters who attended. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Just Posted

Langley East MLA could testify in logging lawsuit

Rich Coleman has been put on the witness list for a lawsuit against TimberWest.

WATCH: Kwantlen artist paints and installs Indigenous mural in Fort Langley

First Nations painter Brandon Gabriel created a piece of art for Cranberries Naturally.

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

New Langley resident takes to the stage in upcoming musical

Leah Newson is performing in Annie: The Musical in Burnaby starting Feb. 1.

Day 3 brings fourth win for the Langley-based Team BC

Tyler Tardi and squad plays two games Tuesday at the junior curling nationals in Saskatchewan.

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Aldergrove soccer tournament set for March 30-31

2019 edition of the Barry Bauder Memorial Soccer Tournament taking registrations

Most Read