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White Plains' Hospice & Palliative Care Hosts Butterfly Release

Reid Stemkowski of Thornwood watches a butterfly land on his finger during the Monarch release. Photo Credit: Contributed
Danielle Colavito and son, Lucas, of Harrison, learning about the Monarch butterfly while participating in children’s crafts. Photo Credit: Contributed
From left, Dr. Mark Fialk, HPCW medical director, Mary K. Spengler, HPCW executive director, and Sister J.P. Manderine, of Purchase welcome guests to Butterfly Release. Photo Credit: Contributed
From left, HPCW bereavement coordinators Kim Gordon of Rye, Bruce Page of Chappaqua, and Karen Dreher, New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Contributed
Three generations of the Santorelli Family attend the fourth annual Celebration of Life Memorial Butterfly Release. Photo Credit: Contributed
Members of the Agostino family celebrate the lives of their deceased loved ones. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester in White Plains recently hosted its fourth annual Celebration of Life Memorial Butterfly Release at the Wainwright House in Rye.

Hundreds of family, friends, and community members gathered for two remembrance ceremonies, each concluding with the release of Monarch butterflies to honor loved ones. Hospice Executive Director Mary K. Spengler and Wainwright House Executive Director Peggy Hill welcomed guests, and Hospice staff and volunteers offered readings relating to loss and bereavement. Harpist Clare Rosenfield, music practitioner David Devine and the Threshold Choir of Westchester provided musical interludes. Throughout the event, children and families were invited to participate in crafts relating to the Monarch butterfly, as well as walk the peaceful labyrinth on the grounds. Bereavement coordinators read the names of those being remembered at both ceremonies. Guests were then invited onto the lawn for the coordinated release of butterflies. Family and friends marveled as the beautiful creatures took flight, representing the memory of loved ones. “Hospice is pleased to host this annual event for families to remember and celebrate their loved ones,” Spengler said. “The butterfly release enhances ongoing family ties and warm memories for our Hospice families and members of the community,” said Bruce Page, bereavement coordinator of the hospice.

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