LECOM held their 17th annual “Wings of Hope Butterfly Release” on Saturday in honor of those who passed away in hospice care.

Families and loved ones gathered on Saturday for a service that included the reading of names of the individuals who have died this past year.

Following the final names, LECOM released 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 the grieving to be a little less severe,” said Karen Adams, VNA Hospice Chaplain.

Butterflies for loved ones were a $25 donation that benefited the Visiting Nurses Association of Erie County.