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Butterfly sculpture to get enhancement

Tue., Sept. 30, 2008

Purple wings aim to raise awareness of lupus

The butterfly sculpture that greets visitors at the north entrance of Spokane’s Riverfront Park will get colorful new wings next year thanks to the Lupus Support Group.

The sculpture is one of two left from a flock of butterflies that decorated the park during Expo ’74, said Nancy Goodspeed, a Spokane Parks and Recreation spokeswoman. The other is in storage.

Purple fabric will cloak the frame of the butterfly to raise awareness of lupus, a painful and sometimes fatal autoimmune disorder that primarily strikes minority women.

The sculpture floats over a large raised flower bed in the park.

Jocelyn Whitfield-Babcock, with the Spokane Lupus Support Group, said a plaque will be installed by the refurbished sculpture to help connect sufferers with the support group.

Funding and maintenance of the project will come from the local support group, Whitfield-Babcock said.

Plans call for work to begin sometime in mid-2009.

The group’s annual fundraiser – the 2.5-mile Mad Hatter’s Walk and Roll – will be Oct. 11 at the West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St., Spokane.

For details, contact coordinator Terri Galehousen at (509) 927-4782 or

Donations will benefit the Lupus Foundation of America’s Pacific Northwest Chapter and be applied to medical research.

Beginning next year, walks will begin at the butterfly, Whitfield-Babcock said.

The group meets the first Saturday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Spokane County Library north branch, 44 E. Hawthorne Road.

For more information, call Marilee Hudon at (509) 325-9465 or visit


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