LECOM held it’s 17th annual “Wings of Hope Butterfly Release” Saturday in honor of those who have passed in hospice care.

Families and loved ones gathered today for a service that included the reading of names of the individuals that passed in the past year.

Following the final names, LECOM releases butterflies into the air as a symbolic gesture.

“When we come together, we grieve together and that’s very important when we share that grief and we share that love and we share that hope that was spoken about today. It helps to share that. It helps the grieving to be a little bit less severe,” said Karen Adams, the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) hospice chaplain.

Butterflies for loved ones were a $25 donation that benefits the VNA of Erie County.