Three-hundred Monarch butterflies took flight for the first time Saturday afternoon, fluttering into the clear blue sky in honour of loved ones lost, and residents in the twilight of their lives.
Krause Berry Farms hosted its annual butterfly release in support of the Langley Care Foundation â€“ which enriches the lives of the elderly served by the Langley Lodge, and the Langley Hospice Society â€“ which provides palliative and bereavement care and support to individuals and families.
People bought the butterflies for releasing for $20 each, with proceeds benefiting both organizations.
Unlike last yearâ€™s release, when it rained off and on and the temperature hovered around the 18ÂºC mark, Saturdayâ€™s hot sun made it a challenge for the beautiful bugs, which are sensitive to heat. It took a while for some of them to get their wings flapping in 30ÂºC temperatures before they finally went airborne.
â€œThe idea is, youâ€™re thinking with your heart; you remember your mom, your dad, someone who has passed away, â€ said Pat Matiowski, director of fundraising with Langley Lodge.
The butterfly release was previously held at Langley Lodge but it has â€œoutgrown itself,â€ Matiowski said. â€œWe donâ€™t have enough space to accommodate everyone who is interested. It just made a lot of sense to come out to a beautiful rural area like this and partner up with the hospice society.â€
The butterflies symbolize the cycle of life, noted Langley Hospice Society communications and funds development manager Shannon Todd Booth.
â€œBoth organizations are working with people in different ages and phases,â€ Todd Booth said. â€œWith hospice, people often think that itâ€™s about death but itâ€™s really about life â€“ itâ€™s about living and having choice until the very end of life.â€
In addition to the butterflies in flight, there was lots happening at Krause Berry Farms, including entertainment by local BC Country Music Association artist
Trevor Murray, as well as childrenâ€™s crafts, facepainting, and u-pick in the berry fields.
The butterflies were supplied by Flutterbuys, a Langley company that sells butterflies for special occasions such as weddings, and butterfly larvae kits for daycares and schools.