NORWICH - The Chenango Valley Adult Enrichment Center has begun its first ever Adopt a Butterfly fundraiser.
The center, a non-profit that opened its doors in 2019, serves Norwich and the surrounding areas, and acts as a place for functionally impaired adults to spend the day. Program Coordinator Bonnie Lamb said the center offers games, food, outings, and more.
“We’re a not-for-profit, so we’re able to serve any adult over 65,” said Lamb. “If they want to come for a meal, just to get a bite to eat, they can do that. They can come for certain activities.”
“We’re always doing stuff. Memory games, stuff to keep them stimulated and keep them, you know, acclimated in the community. Their golden years, we want to keep them in their homes and a part of the community for as long as possible,” she added.
The Adopt a Butterfly program started as an activity for the members that ended up having a great impact. Lamb described it as a “really rewarding” experience.
Butterflies will be available for adoption until October 1, or while supplies last.
For more information on the Chenango Valley Adult Enrichment Center, or to participate in their Adopt a Butterfly fundraiser, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/chenangovalleyaec, or by calling the center at 607-373-3653.
“Last year I brought in monarch caterpillars for the members to watch grow and go through metamorphosis and change, and it’s amazing. A lot of them had never seen, you know, a full complete stage or cycle, so it was really neat,” she said. “We have members that have Alzheimer’s and dementia, and having a butterfly in their hand, it was just such a good response.”
From there, Lamb wanted to keep the program going for members, but also turn it into a fundraiser to support the Enrichment Center. They will work with the Monarch Watch Program to track the butterflies as they make their 3,000 mile flight to Mexico.
“We tag the butterflies so that way researchers can study the population and then kind of keep tabs on all the monarchs, which are endangered,” said Lamb. “Adopting a butterfly really supports our program to help us grow … [Proceeds] will be cycled back into the Enrichment Center. Activities, supplies, things like that to keep our members happy.”
The fee for adopting a butterfly is $10. Lamb said approximately 100 butterflies are available, and can be tagged with the donor’s name, or in memory of a loved one. Donors will also receive a certificate in the mail with their butterfly’s tagging number.
“Upon the donation a certificate will be mailed to them with the tagging number and its release date. And then there’s actually a log on the Monarch Watch Program, so at the end of the season you can go on and see if your butterfly has been spotted,” Lamb explained. “So yeah, that’s the little kind of perk of adopting a butterfly.”
Lamb said she hopes to hold the fundraiser annually, as “it’s a lot of fun, and the members really enjoy doing it.”