Volunteer: Be a colorful part of the Raiders Welcome Home Celebration

By Kim Thompson on May 28, 2013

When we think of art, we think of many things. Art brings us emotion, thoughts and ideas, appreciation and imagination. However, one of the most important things art can do is to create connections between people and bring an entire community together - particularly in the spirit of support and love.  

In the South Puget Sound, there's an opportunity to participate in this very type of an art project while welcoming our Servicemembers back from serving overseas.

Sunday, Sept. 15, the city of Lakewood - in cooperation with the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), the Lakewood subchapter of the Association of the Unites States Army and a host of community partners - will throw a Raiders Welcome Home Celebration and parade for the 4-2 SBCT after its 9-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Rally Point 6 and the American Leadership Forum (ALF) Tacoma/Pierce County Chapter Class XIX will help build an entertainment stage for the celebration in Fort Steilacoom Park. ALF XIX member and artist Lynn Di Nino heads up a team of volunteers to decorate the stage's façade with thousands of yellow paper roses. Di Nino invites the community to join her and ALF creating the roses, which are crafted from folded yellow napkins and attached to green pipe cleaner. The flowers will be then wired together to create the façade, much like making a float.

"This project is designed to create a feeling of welcome," explains Di Nino. "We want all hands in the community working on them."

The beauty of the project is that one doesn't need to be an artist to participate.

"This is an easy project," says Di Nino. "I am holding workshops to demonstrate the folding process. There are multiple ways to make the roses; there's no ‘set' way."

Di Nino continues, "If the roses look a little different, we don't care. We just want people to participate. Plus, for this project, it's ‘quantity over quality.' Groups or individuals may make as many as they wish."

>>> The close up of the paper rose is by Ann Sloper.

Di Nino notes that service groups are sending representatives to learn the process and in turn taking it back to teach others. Di Nino has also conducted workshops as far north as Seattle.

So how many roses are needed?  

"A truckload or to fill a two car garage," states Di Nino. "At the end of the event, we'd like people to feel free to take some roses with them."

All completed roses are due by Sept. 1, 2013.

To learn more about this project and to participate in a rose-making workshop, please contact Di Nino at 253.396.0774 or lynndin@msn.com.