Event Preview: Butterflies in Motion

Stephen Rolfe Powell

By Kellie Doligale

Few daytime fundraising events can boast the attractions of the third annual Butterflies in Motion event to benefit Heuser Hearing and Language Academy: unique, extravagant décor at each table in the Brown Hotel venue, an auction of covetable luxuries and most importantly, a much-deserving cause.

“It is presented by the Butterfly Society, which is the support group for Heuser Hearing and Language Academy,” explains event Co-Chairman Brad Broecker. “The Society was formed to get a group of volunteers together who help the school, whether it’s in the classroom with the kids themselves or pursuing fundraising opportunities.”

Formerly the Louisville Deaf Oral School, the Academy is a preschool and kindergarten program and diagnostic center serving deaf and hard of hearing children throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana. HHLA has partnered with JCPS since the 1970s to provide services to eligible children at no cost to their families.

Because the HHLA leaves no hearing-impaired child without a positive start to their education, proceeds are both crucial and well-spent. Fundraising efforts reached a decidedly creative peak three years ago with the introduction of Butterflies in Motion. “It’s a luncheon at which the tables are sold to various individuals who decorate those tables in the theme of a movie,” Broecker says. “They can use any movie they want, and they’re judged according to best representation of the film.”

While sales of the tables and individual tickets raise commendable funds, major profits of the event come from an impressive auction. Seven items are up for bidding, and the list is enticing.

The first is a one-of-a-kind piece from internationally renowned glass artist and professor Stephen Rolfe Powell, who crafts his elaborate sculptures at Centre College. The spellbinding piece is approximately 30 inches tall, and the value is estimated at $16,000.

“The second item is what I’m calling a ‘Bourbon Extravanganza,’” says Broecker. Labels include, but are hardly limited to, Pappy Van Winkle 23 and 20, two bottles of Maker’s Mark Private Select from Bill Samuels Jr.’s personal barrel, Maker’s Mark Kentucky Wildcats 1996 National Champion white bottle with blue wax and many more. Broecker is so diligently adding to what is already an illustrious assembly that the final collection may be divided in two.

The third major item is a theater trip to New York to see the new, two-part production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” as well as Disney’s onstage adaptation of “Frozen.” The package will be redeemable in the spring when both plays are showing concurrently, and at the winner’s convenience.

WAVE3 Chief Meteorologist Kevin Harned returns as this year’s auctioneer, and awards will be presented for the best execution of a table’s movie theme. Movie selections for this year’s tables include “Beauty and the Beast,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Casablanca” among others.

“Last year, we found a lot of people also dressed in the theme of their tables,” says Broecker, “So this year, we are going to start presenting a prize for the best costumes as well.” Hosts will also present the Spirit of Sug Award in honor of the late Sug Schusterman, who formed the Butterfly Society in 2009 and served as an instrumental Heuser Hearing Institute Board member for years. The award is presented to a deserving member of the community who exemplifies the spirit of community service as Sug did.

In 2016, Butterflies in Motion raised nearly $140,000, according to Broecker. “It’s grown the last two years, and we hope to beat that figure this year. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’re excited about it.” VT

Butterflies in Motion

The Brown Hotel

October 3, 10 a.m.

Tickets: $100

Contact Brad Broecker, 502.551.2303