COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition (WCGCC) is kicking off this year’s Paint the Town Pink campaign with a “Celebration of Life” survivor butterfly release, according to a press release from the organization. The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, located at 3535 S. Lumpkin Road in Columbus. The butterfly release is meant to “recognize and celebrate” those who have had cancer.

This fundraiser will raise money for WCGCC’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors Cancer Assistance Fund, which helps pay for the daily living expenses of cancer patients undergoing treatment.

At 10:30 a.m., survivors will share their stories.

“The live butterflies are going to be released at 12:15 p.m.,” said WCGCC President and CEO Cheryl A. Johnson. “There will be someone talking about the butterflies and what have you. And people can make a donation of $10 or more for butterflies to be released.”

There will be live music, food, activities, exhibits and more at the event.

“We’ve got the National Infantry Museum is involved, Columbus Water Works… There’s a myriad of other entities that are involved,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the butterfly release was originally thought up by WCGCC member Gloria Weston-Smart, who wanted to hold an event more environmentally friendly than a balloon release.

Registration is not required for this event. Click here to purchase a live butterfly to be released.

WCGCC is a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization that aims to help the communities it serves deal with cancer. For more information, visit