Butterfly release Saturday in Central Park

May 8—ASHLAND — A butterfly release and prayer ceremony in Ashland is open to families who have experienced the loss of an infant during pregnancy or following birth.

The event is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the small fountain at Central Park — near the corner of Lexington Avenue and 22nd Street.

Bridgette Henry has taken on coordination duties. She lost her son in 2014.

Cathy Whitt, a retired King's Daughters nurse, started the event about 11 years ago, Henry said. Henry first attended in 2014 following her son's death.

Whitt retired about three years ago. Due to health reasons, she couldn't put as much effort into the event as she once did, so Henry stepped in.

According to Henry, the butterfly release drew in fairly large crowds until the COVID pandemic.

They've continued the tradition.

"I know it has helped me, in the first year in particular," Henry said. "I was really hurt and depressed. Knowing other women have been through it helps you get through it a little bit."

Prayer will be part of the event.

Henry still remembers what Whitt told her 10 years ago at the butterfly release.

"Cathy told me I was a caterpillar and one day I'll be a butterfly," Henry said.

More recently, Whitt told Henry, "See, I told you, you're growing."

The event flyer states the ceremony's purpose is "honoring parents whose babies are in Heaven."

Henry emphasized that the release will take place at the little fountain in the corner of the park near the Lexington Avenue entrance of the hospital — not by the pond.

(606) 326-2664 — asnyder@dailyindependent.com