- Posted September 20, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Know someone changing the world?
Hope Soars On The Wings Of Butterflies
By Leiza Grissino and Kathy Horn
On Sunday, September 12, 2010 at the Amesbury Massachusetts Woodsom Farm, the first Lucy’s Love Bus Fly-Away Festival was celebrated with a proclamation from the mayor that September 12th will be known as Lucy’s Love Bus Day forever.
The Fly-Away Festival was the concept of Beecher Grogan and her Teen Leaders who were thrilled with the turnout of what some estimated to be upwards of two thousand people. Although the day was about a somber cause, children battling cancer, it was filled with fun: pony rides, live music, crafts and a mobile wood fired oven that was baking Flatbread Pizza, and a plethora of butterflies.
Lucy’s Love Bus is a nonprofit organization that provides comfort and treatments to children that insurance often doesn't cover. These treatments not only provide physical comfort but emotional healing. The cause is dear to Grogan’s heart, four years ago Grogan lost her own daughter to cancer. Her daughter, Lucy started this charity several months before she passed away at age 12.
It started with a conversation that Lucy and Beecher Grogan had in her hospital room. Lucy was aware that not all children with cancer were able to benefit from some of the treatments that she was receiving. It was Lucy’s desire to help provide her friends in the hospital with these integrated therapies. Beecher Grogan took this seed of an idea between the two of them and it has blossomed into a fully fledged charity that is benefiting many children.
The day was spearheaded by Beecher Grogan but it was for and constructed by children of all ages. Grogan created a group of Teen Leaders that ran the Fly-Away Festival guided by some trusted adult helpers. The kids could be seen working all over the festival donned in their colorful tie-dyed butterfly shirts, involved in every aspect.
One highlight of the day was the “Butterfly Kisses”. Members of the freshman football team donned fake eyelashes and gave them away- not to be outdone by the cheerleaders!
Kids from the Sparhawk School that Lucy Grogan attended for a time, set up a wind sculpture on the hill. Paper butterflies swayed in the wind marking the names of people that have passed away. For $15 a real butterfly was purchased to be released on the day in the name of person and here is where many attending the festival found their loved one’s names. While kids crafted and people munched on pizza the music played.
Nathan Osmond the country singer and nephew of Donny and Marie Osmond, performed an original song appropriately called "Lucy's Song".The song was originally a poem that Beecher Grogan wrote for Lucy after her death. Osmond's performance did not leave a dry eye at the farm.The song is produced by Ron Saltmarsh is due to be released on September 27, 2010.
There were many entertainers that gave of their talent including the #1 R&B group on YouTube,AHMIR, the teen group Errata, a children’s chorus sang “I’ll Fly Away” and members of the local band the Brew performed. Comedian Danny McDermott, his character Ms.Ballstones provided a very touching and funny moment on stage with Lucy's brother Eli and sister Jane.
Miranda Berry made the trip from Orange, MA. The group Ahmir invited her to join them on stage.Miranda had an inspirational story of her own encounter with a butterfly that held the festival attendees breathless.The story was very profound from this beautiful child. Miranda is one of the many children that have been helped in dealing with her cancer treatments by Lucy's Love Bus foundation.Miranda hopes that her voice will help in the mission of Lucy’s Love Bus, so she carries the torch.
The culmination of the day was the actual release of 1200 monarch butterflies above the crowd.They took flight with hopes and dreams of cancer patients, their families and friends for healing and care in the future, with the help of Lucy’s Love Bus.
For more information visit www.lucyslovebus.org