Word from Frances Thompson, Marketing Director for Maryland Plaza, is that the butterfly sculptures created by local artists as a fundraiser for BJC's Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Program will take flight from their temporary homes on Maryland Plaza tomorrow. Nearly all of the 56 sculptures that were placed in various locations around St. Louis have been sold. Those remaining will be auctioned as part of a benefit party to be held May 21 at the Hyatt at The Arch. To learn more about Wings in the City, look here.
Frances, with assistance from Friends of Wings Board Member and CWE resident Asha Zimmerman, staged a low-key family event Saturday afternoon to celebrate the butterfly project. Friends of Wings is a volunteer organization that raises funds for children and their families who are in hospice and palliative care programs.
As Frances gleefully reported shortly after the celebration began: "This is the first time I can remember that one of our Maryland Plaza events coincided with good weather." The event drew young families who seemed to enjoy being out of hibernation, just as much as the butterflies available for release during the event.
The butterflies were provided by the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Faust Park, where they had just emerged from their cocoons. They were carefully packaged in brightly-colored papers and for a $3 donation you could set one free. Young Maria Navarro, shown below with a butterfly tattoo on her hand, was reluctant (at best) to hold the real thing.
For a $1 donation to the cause, Bissinger's, a sponsor of the Celebration, molded white chocolate butterflies for children to ice and take home in one of the store's signature gold boxes.
Another sponsor, Central West End Families and Friends, sold "6310gr8" t-shirts and onesies, $10 & $18. Volunteers including Heather Navarro and graphic artist Diann Cage, staffed a table where children painted cardboard butterflies.
Volunteers also helped young participants attach colorful butterflies to sticks to create their own sculptures.
With excellent music by guitarist Dave Black and vocalist Margaret Bianchetta, the afternoon was just about perfect—all for a very worthwhile cause.