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June 6, 2011

Simmons Cancer Institute to Celebrate Third Butterfly Release

Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will celebrate its third annual butterfly release at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, in Springfield. Butterflies native to the area will be released at the Thomas Garden of Hope which is on the grounds of Simmons Cancer Institute at 315 W. Carpenter.

The butterfly release is unique to central Illinois as a celebration to support and encourage those facing challenges with illness, professional caregivers, family members and friends who provide understanding and compassion.  The ceremony includes a public reading of the names of those being celebrated and remembered as well as music and inspirational readings.

Simmons Cancer Institute’s three-story building opened in July 2010, consolidating most of SIU’s multi-disciplinary cancer clinics and outreach service programs.  The Thomas Garden of Hope, located on the northeast side of the new building, was designed as a place of comfort, welcoming patients and their loved ones to reflect and focus on hope for the future.

Butterfly sponsorships are available for $40 and proceeds go to Simmons Cancer Institute for research.  Registration prior to the event is strongly encouraged, either on-line at or by calling the SIU Foundation at 217-545-2955 weekdays.  A limited number of butterflies/registrations will be available the day of the event for $50.

For more information, call Patsy Wappel at 217-545-0395 weekdays.

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through education, research, patient care and community service.  Its Web site is