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Special Olympics

Gloucester program treats every child like a 'STAR'

Gloucester program treats every child like a 'STAR'

GLOUCESTER – Cheers, giggles and applause filled the Botetourt Elementary School gym as it had every Friday night for the previous 11 weeks. "Every child deserves to have this much fun," said John Coats, director of Gloucester County's STAR program. On Nov. 21, the children wrapped up the fall session of the STAR program, a recreational based program for children with special needs provided through Gloucester Parks and Recreation. STAR stands for Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Attitude and Respect. The story behind the program is a triumph over tragedy for Coats, who always tries to focus solely on the program and its participants rather than his years of hard work...