Orange and black butterfly sitting on the green leaf of a tree

“A spirituality that’s hard to put into words”

Mary Mabry helps hundreds of women every day. As the director of the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health, she helps women to get their yearly mammograms and guides some through the difficult process of learning of a cancer diagnosis.

Every year when she attends the Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s Wings of Hope butterfly release, she thinks of these women. And as a breast cancer survivor of 10 years, she also remembers her own cancer journey.

“Wings of Hope is a very personal and special event,” Mabry said. “I see it as a way to lift up the women facing breast cancer. I think of my own journey, that I’m here because of early detection. The nature of butterflies provides a type of spirituality that’s hard to put into words.”

The Wings of Hope butterfly release helps remember a loved one or provide the feeling of a “second flight” for those following treatment for a serious illness. The proceeds of the event touch many people—benefitting the heart, cancer and hospice divisions of Spartanburg Regional Foundation.

Celebrated this year at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, participants will release butterflies into the morning sky in the beautiful Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health garden. 

“As a cancer survivor, releasing the butterfly and seeing that beauty as the butterflies lift up is very special,” Mabry said. “I also think of the women in our community and how we could change the face of breast cancer and stop women from dying from this disease.”

Butterflies fly out of small envelopes and land on arms and nearby flowers on a warm, summer morning. Laughter and squeals of delight echo through the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health Garden as everyone watches these colorful insects exploring the garden.

Wings of Hope offers two donation levels. For $30, donors can add a butterfly to a mass butterfly release. For a $100 donation donors can release an individual butterfly in honor or in memory of a loved one. To make a donation, visit  or call 864-560-6727 for more information.