City News

Charlotte’s The Respite celebrates fourth anniversary

The Respite in Charlotte will host a butterfly launch June 22 as part of its fourth anniversary celebration.
The Respite in Charlotte will host a butterfly launch June 22 as part of its fourth anniversary celebration. THE RESPITE

The second annual Butterfly Launch will take place June 22 at The Respite.

The butterflies will be launched to honor the memories of departed loved ones, or to honor living loved ones.

The launch also will celebrate The Respite’s fourth anniversary.

The Respite – A Centre for Grief and Hope was founded by three women who wanted to help others who have suffered loss.

One of the founders is Cindy Ballaro, who serves as director of awareness and outreach.

“The butterfly is the symbol for transformation and that’s what we do for people working through their grief journey. We help them take their grief and transform it into something meaningful,” Ballaro said.

The organization offers a wide range of services and programs including counseling, yoga, massage and support groups for a variety of losses and life transitions. They also offer a 12-week program for female Veterans called “Hope Back Home.”

The Respite has a video available that focuses on several areas including the loss of a relationship, a loved one, loss of a dream, illness, financial struggles, depression, loss of a job and the daily stress of living in today’s fast-paced society.

Mandy Eppley, is another founder of The Respite. She serves as lead therapist and director of programs and services.

“We know for a fact that untreated grief leads to depression and despair, which can lead to addiction, suicide and abuse, which costs our country billions of dollars each year,” she said. “We treat the root of the problem and provide practical tools which can help individuals to become whole and healthy, and once again be able to give back to the world.”

Ballaro said she wants everyone to know that attendance is optional for the Butterfly Launch.

“Anyone can purchase a butterfly by making a $25 donation. Even if you can’t attend we will set the butterfly free for you,” Ballaro said. “All of the butterflies must be purchased by June 19.”

All donations are tax-deductible and will be used to support the work of The Respite.

The goal is to launch 100 butterflies.

The event will be held 7-8:30 p.m. June 22 at The Respite, 4919 Monroe Road. Pictures of the released butterflies will be posted on The Respite’s Pinterest page.

Butterflies can be purchased online at, or contact Ballaro at 704-372-4010.

Charlene Price-Patterson is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Charlene? Email her at

Learn more:

Honor loved ones at Respite’s Butterfly Launch from 7-8:30 p.m. June 22, sponsored by The Respite – A Centre for Grief & Hope, 4919 Monroe Road. Cost: $25 for each butterfly. All butterflies must be purchased by June 19.

▪ Details: or contact Cindy Ballaro, 704-372-4010.