A variation of the butterfly effect was on display during Saturday morning’s Walk for Memories inside the Lion’s Auditorium.
The predicating event was one young participant’s decision to choose a purple butterfly pattern at the face-painting booth. This comparatively small decision turned out to be an influential first in an chain reaction that saw a virtual tornado of young faces decorated with butterflies circling about an auditorium also including cheetahs, bunnies, kissing fish – and a tractor.
“A lot of butterflies,” reported facial artist Jelissa Klassen.
Compatriot Haley McLean (also a Grade 11 student at Glendale), recalled one point at which no less than five kids were lined up seeking butterflies on their faces.
“And I did two,” she added, doing quick math on seven butterflies out of an estimated total of 30-ish face paintees, or around 25%.
“They’re all purple, except for one,” added Klassen. “One broke the trend and went blue.”
The butterfly effect theory basically states something as insignificant as the effects of a butterfly flapping its wings can be the nexus point of influence on an extended chain reaction influencing as major event as the creation, or ultimate path of a tornado.
It could also be as simple as one kid thinking a butterfly face painting would be cool, resulting ultimately in six others agreeing. Or the Alzheimer’s Society of Oxford hosting its 18th Annual Walk for Memories, as a nexus point for several positive outcomes.
In the first place, combined events in Tillsonburg, Ingersoll and Woodstock are the ASO’s largest fundraiser of the season, bringing in over $107,000 across Oxford in 2012.
“It’s the most successful Walk for Memories, per capita, in Ontario by far,” said ASO Executive Director Shelley Green. “We’re very proud of that, but we are also very thankful to our community for that.”
This year’s total to date in Tillsonburg is $19,000, and still rising, Green added.
“People can still make donations to the walk. Just contact our office.”
Secondly, the walk provides a mutually-supportive focal point for those affected by Alzheimer Disease or related dementia. By design, it is a family event with activities for children up through seniors.
“It was a good turnout, definitely a good turnout,” said Green. “A lot of groups, lots of individuals, people of all ages, from little kids up to people in their 90s.”
There is also a contemplative moment, the Lights of Hope, where lights are dimmed and participants carry candles around with the music of Woodstock native Joanne Does, who has written five songs inspired by the battle against Alzheimers.
“This is a meaningful event, a great thing to get involved in,” said Green.
And finally, the walk raises awareness, both generally in the broader community, and also that growing community of those affected by Alzheimer Disease or related dementias. And accompanying that awareness is the possibility first contact may be established between the society and those in need, potentially a nexus point for future, positive ramifications.
“The Walk for Memories is a fundraiser, no question,” said Green. “But it also allows us to raise awareness in Oxford County.
“We accomplished a number of things today. It is a valuable event on so many levels for our whole county.”
Those wishing to contact the ASO can do so via phone (519-421-2466) or through its website, www.alzheimer.ca/oxford.
“Call us,” Green concluded. “We have a lot of programs and services that can make a significant difference.”