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A Christmas tradition going strong 19 years later

A Gloucester Christmas tradition that brings joy to needy families is still going strong in its 19th year.

The annual party for foster children sponsored by Bill Hudgins GMC and other Gloucester businesses began in 1995 and in the intervening years has helped hundreds of children have a happy Christmas.

Beth Barry, director of Gloucester Social Services, said the effort began in 1995, when Bill Hudgins, owner of the dealership, was sitting in a Gloucester Social Services Board meeting and a 5-year-old boy who had been left by his mother came down the hall.

“He had cancer in his eye, and she couldn’t take care of him medically,” said Hudgins, “so she put him in foster care.”

Something about the child touched Hudgins, and he decided to give the boy the Christmas of his life. Hudgins had some of his employees dress up as Santa Claus and his elves, and he threw a party.

“Everybody who knew the story chipped in,” said Hudgins, and the dealershi...

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