For more than 10 years giant, colorful butterflies have settled in yards, landscaping and gardens throughout the area, all part of an art-auction project of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs.

For year 11, a miniature swarm arrived Sept. 7 in Flight Lite, a nature walk through “gardens” in a ballroom at The Antlers planted with flowers and tiny tabletop butterflies as well as some big ones, too.

The 344 guests strolled the garden settings, bidding by phone for delicate creations by local artists to benefit arts and science programs in Colorado Springs School District 11.

Michael Thomas, newly named superintendent of D-11, was enthusiastic about the program, which last year raised almost $40,000 for school programs ranging from greenhouses to iPads and robotics.

Thomas said his introduction to the bucolic butterfly scene brought special memories of family nature walks as he was growing up. He encouraged guests to “find what you love in life. Find your passion.”

More than $45,000 was raised during Flight Lite, which also supports Rotary service projects.

Participating artists: Hope Aubuchon, student Ze’no Aubuchon, Rebekah Black, Judy Blaes, Sarah Bonnell, Phelan Carrasco, Lisa Christopherson, Cass Daley, student Ayanna Dottin, student Tuesday Doyle, Anne Kircher Dye, Don Goede and Vincent Coleman, C.E. Gould, Frances Huntington, Al B. Johnson, Kathleen Kennedy, John Martin, J. Henry Martin, Gennell “Nelly” McCoy, Jamie Moon, Nancy Neale, Jantzen Peake, Kim Polomka, student Adelaide Slate, Sally Ann Wilson, Laurel Bahe.

The evening’s presenting sponsors were Status Symbol Auto Body in conjunction with the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. Queen sponsors: Harding Nursery and The Gazette. Monarch sponsors: Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, School District 11 and KRDO News Radio.

Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town

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