Chelsea Butler Donation Event

Chelsea Butler Donation Event

Though I never had the privilege of meeting her, it is easy to get a sense of what kind of beautiful person Chelsea Marie Butler was. The eyes of her friends and family brighten, and their smiles widen as they speak of her fondly. Described as “awesome,” “wonderful,” “determined,” and “lovely,” it’s clear that Chelsea was beloved by many. A benevolent light seemed to radiate from her, warming anyone lucky enough to know her.

In 2009 Chelsea was diagnosed and treated for Lymphoma. The cancer remained in remission for several years until she was ultimately diagnosed with Spindle-cell Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.  Chelsea worked with The Little Red Door Agency during treatment. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy. Sadly, Chelsea passed away on June 20th, 2015. She was 30 years old. Although her loss is still being mourned deeply, her determination and warmth echo throughout Lucky Rabbit and the community alike.

Chelsea briefly worked at Lucky Rabbit alongside the love of her life, Alan Dumond. However, her true passion was in nutrition. Chelsea graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts from Sullivan University. Gradually she became interested in dietetics and food sustainability. While working on earning her Masters Degree from Ball State University, she was awarded the Perham Scholarship with Distinction in academics and leadership. Chelsea was a force that is difficult to match.

Furthermore, her family recognized how taxing and demanding her nutrition program was. They began the Chelsea M. Butler Graduate Internship Scholarship in her honor. The scholarship benefits dedicated and hardworking students just like Chelsea. Working toward earning nutritionist licenses, recipients display the same tenacity and passion for dietetics.

It has been a great honor to learn about Chelsea’s life and all she has inspired. We hope Chelsea’s memory can live on through her life’s work.

Join us on Chelsea Days for a tattoo or piercing. 10% of our earnings will be donated to Chelsea’s scholarship fund. Or, participate in our raffle! Purchase tickets for your choice of featured items for $25.    

If you’d like to set up an appointment for Chelsea Days, please contact us now. To donate directly to the memorial fund, click here. 

Or visit the studio to buy tickets! No limit on how many you can buy! Enter as many times as you’d like!

Lastly, I’ll leave you with the words of a few of her loved ones.


Heather Pier

Chelsea and Me

Chelsea and I met in the culinary world.. and of course the early downtown bar scene! As time passed around 2009- 2010 I asked her if she wanted to teach as an adjunct at the culinary school at Ivy Tech. We were still teaching out of Cornerstone Center for the Arts and she was up to the challenge of taking on classes. Her students loved her positive, loving, strong female self and thrived in her classes. Unfortunately during the last semester she was with us, Chelsea got the first cancer diagnosis. I remember her calling me to come over to her downtown apartment to tell me she couldn’t teach the rest of the semester. I also remember telling her I wasn’t worried about that, I worried about her. She just smiled and said Fuck Cancer. During that battle I would stop by and bring her food that she would crave (which wasn’t much). When she told me finally she was in remission she shared with me that although her love of cooking hadn’t gone, her love of education and dietary needs had led her to a new calling. She was going back to school! We kept in touch and met for a beer here and there, she introduced me to Alan in the produce section at Meijer, we always dropped a “check in” on FB or via text. I’ll never forget the day we lost Chelsea or the times leading up to that day. I have an herb garden tattooed on my arm, it is a loose replica of the one on her chest, her heart. It reminds me every day that we fight for not only ourselves but for each other. Miss you Chels.

Megan Wenning

Chelsea was that bright spark other people gathered around to warm themselves. Her vivacious spirit and joyful laughter were the cornerstones of my friendship with her. I know the best way to honor our friendship and her memory is to continue her work. Her passion for food, nutrition and caring for others is something we could all aspire too. The best way for us to do that is to ensure that people who share Chelsea’s passion can follow that passion into service. This is exactly what the Chelsea M. Butler memorial scholarship will achieve.

Leslie Shanafelt

Chelsea was supposed to be my life partner. I mean, she has been there for me more of my life than not. She taught me so much about myself though. She taught me how to be strong and how to love myself. She gave me that gift. She probably didn’t know that. She was more than my friend… she was my sister. We did everything together and she was always the first person I called.
She lived such an amazing and full life. She was an amazing chef. She made beautiful creations and brought people together with her bright spirit and her food. She was the Chef at Blue Bottle in downtown Muncie and I had the pleasure of working under her. I learned so much from her in that time. We had such a great time cooking and feeding the people of Muncie. She really loved feeding people. But it was more than just food. It was about bringing people together and seeing the joy it brought them.
She loved animals. She tried so hard to live a cruelty free life. She ate vegan or vegetarian most of her adult life and inspired me to do the same. We were roommates for a lot of our twenties. We exercised together and ate healthy meals together. I remember one time we were driving down old 67 and saw a turtle crossing the road. We stopped and picked it up. It was a snapping turtle but she didn’t care. She picked it up anyway and put it in the backseat. We drove it out to the White River and let it go. That’s just like her. She would go out of her way to help anyone, even a little snapping turtle.
She was so scatterbrained. I just have to tell this story. So she was my maid-of-honor at my wedding. She tried so hard to plan the very best bachelorette party. I’ve never been one for big drinking parties or strippers or whatever so she planned a camping trip with horseback riding down in Bloomington. She spent so much time planning and making sure everything was just perfect. It was amazing! It was a complete surprise. I had no idea what was planned and she got all my other 5 bridesmaids in on it and on time somehow. Well we get all the way to the campsite and start unpacking and pitching our tents only to find out that Chelsea had forgotten to pack her own bag. SHE HAD NO CLOTHES. She had to borrow clothes from the other girls for the entire trip! It was exactly like her to be so focused on everyone else and not think about herself at all. It was hilarious. And a memory I’ll treasure forever.
I could talk about Chelsea forever. The girl I got my senior photos taken with. The girl who I called for everything. The girl I got matching tattoos with. The girl I got lost in Chicago with. My concert buddy. My heterosexual life mate. The one I was supposed to grow old with. The one who was supposed to be an “auntie” to my child. The one who was supposed to get to grow up and get her Masters degree and do all the amazing things she wanted to do.
Life isn’t fair. But Chelsea wouldn’t want us to go on being resentful or full of sadness. She’d want us living every day. She would want us full of life. Full of love. Full of her memory. I love and miss you every day Chelsea. And I’ll never forget you.
We appreciate everyone that has offered kind words and assistance for this event. Your participation has been great, and we can’t thank you enough!