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McChord makes Special Olympics remarkable: Nearly 400 Airmen volunteer to make event memorable

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- More than 3,000 Special Olympics athletes, their coaches, friends and families came together for the opening ceremony on May 31 in Hangar 2 and the Victory Dance and Happenings in McChord's Hangars 1 and 2 Saturday.

For participants, such as Kevin Anderson, the events were an opportunity to end the spring competitive season on a high note by taking a break from competition, hanging out with friends and family and playing games.

"[McChord's Airmen] do an excellent job and put on a really good show for the kids," said Kevin's mother Eilene.

Airmen worked hard to make the opening ceremony, Victory Dance and Happenings successful by giving their time and energy to help out wherever they were needed, said project officer Capt. Alexander Macdonald, 62nd Medical Operations Squadron.

"McChord's volunteers made it all happen," said Captain Macdonald. "We had nearly 400 people volunteer."

They helped set up the hangars, man the game stations and passed out food and beverages, he said. 

Captain Macdonald said there were so many volunteers that much of the work preparing for and cleaning up after the events was done in half the time anticipated.

However, McChord's Airmen did more than just set up chairs and hand out water bottles, they also encouraged the athletes.

"They are very positive for the athletes. They walk up to them and say, 'Good job, you guys did great!'," said Sandy Doyle, whose daughter Rachel competed in track and field events.