Leah Hill remembers her dad Colin was really good at soccer.
“He took me to most of my sports,” the 10-year-old said Thursday, shortly after releasing a butterfly in his memory, during an event at White Rock Seniors Village.
“Oh, there he goes,” Leah’s grandma, Joyce Lamb, exclaimed, as the painted lady lifted off from Leah’s hand and fluttered upwards from the retirement residence’s courtyard.
Leah and her grandparents, two aunts and a cousin were among dozens to gather at White Rock Seniors Village for the event, which was hosted to raise funds for Peace Arch Hospice Society.
By coincidence, it fell on the third-year anniversary of Colin Hill’s death at the family’s Cloverdale home. The 42-year-old father was shot and killed when he confronted a man who was trying to break in.
“He was brutally murdered,” Lamb, a South Surrey resident, said of her son. “All the family were getting ready for a holiday when the doorbell went.”
Khouri Lamar Green pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Hill’s death in November of the following year.
Lamb told Peace Arch News her son “was a hero” the night he died.
“He managed to get back into the house and save his children,” she said.
“I just want my son to be remembered. We all miss him dearly.”
In all, 50 butterflies were released Thursday, all in memory of loved ones. Some fluttered quickly away, while others lingered in the hot sun.
Karen Shibley-Fry, who attended the release with her dad, said she felt a connection to one that rested on her hand for a few minutes.
“I’m pretty sure it’s my mom,” she said. “She’s that way.”
Si Cussen, marketing manager for the seniors’ residence, said many who attended had loved ones who had called the complex home. In releasing a butterfly, “they’re saying ‘bye’,” she said.
The event was also about bringing the community together, Cussen added.
All proceeds – around $1,000 was raised – are to benefit hospice programs.