Kadena Special Olympics committee hosts art exhibition for 16th Annual KSO

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Kadena Special Olympics committee hosts art exhibition for 16th Annual KSO

by: Airman 1st Class Lynette M. Rolen | .
18th Wing Public Affairs | .
published: October 20, 2015

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Kadena Special Olympics committee hosted an art exhibition for special needs students Oct. 16 at the Main City Shopping Mall San-A in Uruma City.

 The exhibition showcased the students' artistic talents and provided members of Team Kadena an opportunity to work with them.

 This is the ninth year Kadena has partnered with the local community for the exhibition. It features the work of students from elementary and junior high schools in Okinawa City, Chatan, Kadena Town and Okinawa Prefectural special education schools. More than 20 volunteers from Kadena began set up for the four day exhibition Oct. 14. The four day event began Oct. 15 and will end on Oct. 18.

 "I love it," said Senior Airman Arlen High, 390th Intelligence Squadron airborne cryptologic language analyst and KSO volunteer.  "I volunteered last year at the Olympic event. Just meeting with the kids and everything was a really awesome experience. They had an art exhibit there too and I walked through that and looked at all of it. So when this came up as an opportunity, I definitely wanted to do it. I wanted to come see the art and see people enjoying it."

 The Okinawa International Women's Club also volunteered during the art exhibition. This is the first year that their group has been involved with the KSO.

 "It's a really nice way to help relations between Kadena and the local community," said Kathealey Katsuko, a member of the Okinawa International Women's Club and a KSO volunteer.

 The exhibition not only benefited Kadena's members and the community, but also the special needs students. It gives them a chance to have their creative works touch lives.

 "This allows the students to channel their ideas and feelings onto a canvas or paper to give you their creative side of the world," said Tech. Sgt. Naka Turner, 18th Logistic Readiness Squadron central storage supervisor, and coordinator for the KSO Art Exhibition. "The art work displayed during this event was an avenue used for the mentally and physically challenged students from the DODDEA and local schools from across the island. There were so many amazing pieces of artwork provided by the students this year ranging  from 5-17 years of age that are currently being displayed at San-A."