ST. CLOUD -- Over 300 new butterflies joined the St. Cloud community on Sunday afternoon.

Quiet Oaks Hospice House teamed up with Munsinger Clemens Botanical Society for the 8th annual Memorial Release of the Butterflies along the Mississippi River.

Jeff Lawson is the Spiritual Care Coordinator at Quiet Oaks. He says the event allows everyone in the community to honor their lost loved ones regardless of their background.

I think it's important for our community because it doesn't matter whether you're a Buddhist, Baptist, or somewhere in between. We all have that common type of faith and it brings us together as a community to honor those who have passed.

Lawson says he released his butterfly in honor of his mother.

My mom's been gone for 14 years. I would go out and buy mother's day cards and birthday cards. It would make me feel better, but then they would go into a drawer and I would forget about them. Today as I release a butterfly it will be a good way for me to remember her and honor her, but also give back to nature and allow that life to continue to go on.

The butterflies cost $25 each and could be bought in advance or at the event.  The celebration also featured live harp music and a butterfly art fair.

A Music in the Gardens concert by Dennis Warner and the D’s and root beer floats followed the ceremony.

Quiet Oaks Hospice House has served over 800 central Minnesotans since opening in the fall of 2008.

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