“The Butterfly Foundation, Ryleigh Remembered,” is a local charity that began in 2007 after the death of Ryleigh Stegall from leukemia. Its purpose is to help families who have children with life-threatening or life-altering conditions with financial assistance. Since 2007, the Foundation has raised and given grants totaling $1,073,490 to families of 384 children!
The Foundation is administered by a Board of Directors and an Advisory Board. They put in many hours of volunteer work to help raise the funds needed to help so many, but they cannot do it alone. It takes many others in volunteer service and support to make the Foundation successful.
In 2010, the Foundation held its first 5K Walk/Run as a major fundraiser. Jim Beavers, a long-time runner, agreed to be the Race Master directing the project. This year the Foundation will host the 14th Annual Butterfly 5K, and Jim is still the Race Master. To recognize his and many others’ hours of volunteer work, the Foundation created the Jim Beavers Volunteer Spirit Award in 2010, with Jim being the first recipient. Since then, the award has been given to volunteers who have gone beyond the norm in their support of the Foundation. Those recipients are Kevin Myers, Jenny Milam, the Wayne County Schools and Board of Education, Glendora Leigh, the Lawrenceburg Kiwanis Club, the Southern 7 Relief Riders, Larry K. Wright, Fred and Sue Lawrence, and Michael Francis, this year’s winner. Each of these people and organizations has dedicated many hours of service to the organization.
In 2015, Dean Stegall, one of the founders of the Foundation, was awarded the Dean Stegall Butterfly Award in recognition of the work she does, and she was given the opportunity to recognize persons and businesses that have made a profound impact on the work of the Foundation. The recipients of this award are Autry Gobbell and People’s Bank, Jerry Hollis and Hassell & Hughes Lumber Company, John Daniel and Waynesboro Piggly Wiggly, Martin Haggard, Jr. and the Wayne County Bank, Jean Nutt, The Gifted Quilter, South Central Correctional Center of CoreCivic, and this year’s winner, The Wayne County News. Each of these has dedicated resources and hours of service to the Foundation.
“It is truly an honor to receive the Dean Stegall Butterfly Award,” said Wayne County News General Manager Chris Bevis. “We are more than happy to help The Butterfly Foundation in any way we can.”
“The Wayne County News is a great platform for getting information out there about The Butterfly Foundation and the truly amazing work they do to help families in need,” said Emma McWilliams, Staff Writer. “We are glad to be a small part of facilitating their mission.”
The Butterfly Foundation truly appreciates and values ALL of the people and businesses in Wayne and surrounding counties that have helped further its work. Those dollars and hours do not go unnoticed! The families served by the Foundation may not know you, but the Foundation does!