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More than 375 participate in community-wide remembrance service

July 3, 2012

Two monarch butterflies on a cone flower immediately following their release during “A Healing Journey: On Butterfly Wings” June 24 at Rockford’s Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Participants had the opportunity to celebrate loved ones who have died by releasing the live monarch butterflies in their memory. (Photo provided by Holly Johns)

Staff Report

More than 375 local participants celebrated their loved ones and, it is hoped, experienced some healing from the community as 350 butterflies were released at the second annual “A Healing Journey: On Butterfly Wings” June 24 at Rockford’s Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

At the community-wide remembrance service, participants had the opportunity to celebrate loved ones who have died by releasing a live monarch butterfly in their memory. All proceeds benefit children’s grief support programs provided by The Grief Center of Northern Illinois Hospice, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

The program included a healing and inspirational message, “Life is Change, Not Ended,” from Father David E. Beauvais, Pastor Emeritus of St. James, a reading of loved ones’ names, music, as well as the live butterfly release.

Founded in 1979, Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center, which organized the event, provides superior, compassionate end-of-life care for individuals, bereavement support for families and friends, and group and individual grief counseling for children, teens and adults. For more details, visit www.northernillinoishospice.org or call (815) 398-0500.

From the July 4-10, 2012, issue

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