Recently, we attended Butterflies & Friends, an auction of 31 metal butterflies decorated by local artists. For four years now, the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs has held a call for artists to adorn the butterflies, mounted them outside throughout town over the summer, and then auctioned them off to raise money for local education programs, scholarships and programs like the Crawford House.
This year, half of the proceeds went toward School District 11's Musical Instruments Program, Will Rogers Elementary School and Mark Twain Elementary School. The other half was allotted for the club's Community Service Fund.
Last year, between the live auction and items on the silent auction tables, the club raised around $40,000. This year, with the help of matching grants that number more than doubled, ringing in at just above $100,000.
As for the butterflies themselves, the auction prices began at $300 or $500 apiece. Many sold for well over $1,000; the most expensive work, "Winged Wildflowers" by the Pikes Peak Decorative Painters, sold for $3,800.
Other notables: Last year's Best Artist winner Rebecca Hyde, had her "Unbound" butterfly sell for $1,800; Deborah Nelson's mosaic masterpiece "Daybreak/Nightfall" sold for $3,100; and one of my favorites, the constellation-inspired "Zodiac A Flutter" by Lupita Carrasco, went for $900.
Most of these butterflies are now resting in private gardens, but some like Carole Reece's "I-M C-N U Bear" was donated to the Bear Creek Dog Park.