Butterfly perched on a flower

Symbols of hope and healing

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

The Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s Wings of Hope event elicits joy each year in August. However, this joy-filled annual event arose from a tragic moment for Jon Jenson.

After his wife, Terri, passed away in 2009 following a lengthy battle with cancer, Jenson wanted to host a special event in her memory. He created the Wings of Hope butterfly release. Spartanburg Regional Foundation partnered with Jensen in subsequent years to make it an annual event, and Wings of Hope has become a popular fundraising event to support the health of our community.

The release of butterflies is a meaningful way to honor a loved one. It can also symbolize hope and a “second flight” following the end of treatment for a serious illness.

“The butterflies released at Wings of Hope are an important symbol of hope and healing,” said Kristy Caradori, Spartanburg Regional Foundation executive director. “It’s also a great cause, benefiting patients and families in need.”   

Held on Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m., Wings of Hope will raise money for patient needs in the areas of cancer, heart and hospice through the Spartanburg Regional Foundation.

The event also allows the community to donate to the hospital in honor or memory of a loved one. For $30, donors add a butterfly to the mass butterfly release. A $100 donation grants the donor an individual butterfly to release in honor or memory of a loved one.

Butterflies will be released and fly into the evening sun at the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health garden.

To release your own butterfly through a donation, call 864-560-6727 or visit for more information.