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Charlotte’s special needs camp focuses on butterflies

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/11/18/55/1pSWoA.Em.138.jpeg|316
    ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    SOAR camper Sydney Lopour, left, paints her ceramic butterfly as her camper buddy Kaitlyn Fitch watches. This is the week of the annual Camp SOAR program at the Jewish Community Center. Campers took part in the Butterfly Project painting ceramic butterflies memorializing children who died in the Holocaust.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/11/18/55/65qDd.Em.138.jpeg|386
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    SOAR camper Eric Ryan Wallace 21 paints his ceramic butterfly. This is the week of the annual Camp SOAR program at the Jewish Community Center. Campers took part in the Butterfly Project painting ceramic butterflies memorializing the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust. The project also is designed to provide a lesson in the evils of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination. The ceramic butterflies that the campers painted will be kiln fired and affixed onto the butterfly sculpture made by sculpture Paul Rousso which is on display at the Margaret and Lou Schwartz Butterfly Garden at the Jewish Community Center.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/11/18/55/OJNr5.Em.138.jpeg|230
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.comm
    SOAR campers view the butterfly sculpture by sculpture Paul Rousso which is on display at the Margaret and Lou Schwartz Butterfly Garden at the Jewish Community Center, the ceramic butterflies that the SOAR campers painted will be kiln fired and affixed to the sculpture. This is the week of the annual Camp SOAR program at the Jewish Community Center. Campers took part in the Butterfly Project painting ceramic butterflies memorializing the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust. The project also is designed to provide a lesson in the evils of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/11/18/55/175i6u.Em.138.jpeg|209
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Ceramic butterflies that SOAR campers painted. This is the week of the annual Camp SOAR program at the Jewish Community Center. Campers took part in the Butterfly Project painting ceramic butterflies memorializing the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust. The project also is designed to provide a lesson in the evils of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination. The ceramic butterflies that the campers painted will be kiln fired and affixed onto the butterfly sculpture made by sculpture Paul Rousso which is on display at the Margaret and Lou Schwartz Butterfly Garden at the Jewish Community Center.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/11/18/55/ZMxLv.Em.138.jpeg|224
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    SOAR camper Eric Ryan Wallace 21 (right) paints his ceramic butterfly, his camper buddy Nicholas Braccia 14 (left) watches. This is the week of the annual Camp SOAR program at the Jewish Community Center. Campers took part in the Butterfly Project painting ceramic butterflies memorializing the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust. The project also is designed to provide a lesson in the evils of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination. The ceramic butterflies that the campers painted will be kiln fired and affixed onto the butterfly sculpture made by sculpture Paul Rousso which is on display at the Margaret and Lou Schwartz Butterfly Garden at the Jewish Community Center.

About 250 participants in a summer camp for Charlotte’s special needs population are adding their artistic flair this week to a project designed to commemorate those who were persecuted because they were different.

Camp SOAR, in its 14th year of providing a weeklong summer camp for children and adults with mental and physical handicaps and who otherwise might not get the experience, is on the Butterfly Project at the Jewish Community Center, which serves as home for the camp.

The Butterfly Project is a piece of artwork in front of the Jewish Community Center, which features arches adorned with ceramic butterflies. The sculpture is designed to commemorate the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust.

Dana Kapustin, coordinator of Project Butterfly and a volunteer at Camp SOAR, said this week’s project “goes beyond the Holocaust.”

“It’s about not giving in to hate, not giving in to prejudices or stereotypes about people who are different,” she said. “That theme certainly fits with what’s happening here this week.”

As usual, people from across the Charlotte community are serving as volunteers during the week, helping campers enjoy basketball, softball, swimming, bingo and more.

“We have almost 300 campers this week, which makes this year’s camp our biggest,” said Al Tinson, one of the organizers of the annual program, which is supported by the Jewish Community Center, Compass Foods, and a host of other companies and organizations.

Last year, campers completed artwork for U.S. military veterans.

“This year, the Butterfly Project was the logical choice, since it’s right here at the Jewish Community Center,” said Eileen Schwartz, Camp SOAR’s art director.

Organizers expect campers to complete about 250 butterflies this week, to accompany an additional 8,000 that have been finished and are waiting to be added to the artwork. About 2,800 butterflies already adorn the sculpture.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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