Moving forward with small steps in the opening of the campus, this visual and symbolic butterfly release served as a time for all to express gratitude and begin anew
Juliette Fowler Communities, a certified Monarch Waystation, released over 350 butterflies representing each resident in a special event on May 13 to mark small steps in the opening of the campus during this next phase of the pandemic. Gathering outdoors in the Harwood Garden to join the celebration, the 350 residents of Fowler Communities, along with staff members, expressed gratitude – each excited to begin anew while remembering that God’s love endures forever. The residents were elated to all come together for the first time since the beginning of pandemic and enjoy each other’s company as well as the event, which lifted everyone’s spirits on a beautiful sunny day. One resident was overheard saying that this event was a ‘healthy shot of hope – even better than the vaccine!’
“We had such a wonderful time,” said John Marr, a resident. “We each released our own butterfly symbolizing a new beginning after this long, pandemic year.”
Just as it has for 130 years, Juliette Fowler Communities persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first pandemic they endured was the Spanish Flu of 1918. Fourteen months ago, new protocols were put into place to adapt and serve the current residents and staff with one priority: protecting the lives of all who live and work at Fowler. Throughout both, the resilience of the JFC was tested, and teammates answered with a resounding reinforcement of JFC’s values in each action: Love People, Pursue Excellence and Make A Difference. Only 7 percent of residents and 17 percent of team members experienced COVID-19. These numbers reflect the successful implementation and adoption of all safety protocols. Fowler Communities will continue to follow “love your neighbor basics” – wear a mask, safely distance, sanitize, and wash hands often.
Juliette Fowler Communities Chaplain Venessa Harmel was joined by area ministers in leading the program and butterfly release, including the Rev. Andy Mangum, regional minister at Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest, and Rev. Virzola Law of Northway Christian Church. JFC President and CEO Nicole Gann provided opening remarks.
“Butterflies are the greatest symbol of transformation,” said Nicole Gann. “Today is important because we have been living though a pandemic; we have been thriving; we have had each other to lean on; and now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I love looking out and seeing everyone wearing our new t-shirts with Psalm 118, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.’ Today we celebrate what we have done and our transformation into our next steps with great possibilities and hope.”
“What a peaceful and stress-free time, which is unique for these times!” said Liz Thurmond, a resident. “It was such a wonderful release of hundreds of butterflies. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“I hope we are going to do more events such as this,” said Jane Piano, a resident. “I loved seeing everyone together!”
The Fowler Community has a Monarch Waystation, which began two years ago as part of its Dallas County Master Gardener Association program. Since 2019, residents have enjoyed watching the stages of transformation as caterpillars turn into butterflies.
"I don't have the words to describe this event,” said Ann Wuermser, a resident. “It was just something you had to feel. And that is something for me to say because I'm a writer, and I know plenty of words!"
“It was an exceptional event,” added John Wrench, a resident. “I thought it was a good expression of the intent to allow new opportunities for the seniors in our community. It is an event that no one in our community will ever forget – my neighbors and I can’t stop talking about it!”
Juliette Fowler Communities is a unique faith-based, intergenerational community of residents at various life-stages. Located on 20 picturesque acres, Juliette Fowler Communities provides independent and assisted living, a Five-Star Quality Rated skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, memory care and affordable senior housing. As the only certified I’m Still Here® Center for Excellence in Dementia Care in Dallas and one of only three in Texas, Fowler’s program employs evidence-based techniques to adapt experiences to an individual’s cognitive abilities and strengths. It has also been named a Great Place to Work in the Aging Services Industry in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Children, youth, and family services at Fowler include foster and adoption services, a residential program for women ages 18-24 at risk for homelessness due to neglect, abuse, and aging out of the foster care system, and a new Youth Support Center – a one-stop location to help Dallas youth, both boys and girls ages 12-24, escape or avoid sex trafficking and exploitation. Visit fowlercommunities.org or call 214.827.0813.