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Youth mentor honored as grand marshal

John Coats, long-time youth mentor and volunteer coach, will be honored as grand marshal of the Gloucester Citizen’s Christmas and Holiday Parade Saturday.

Coats has dedicated his life to working with children throughout Gloucester County in several different programs for the past 27 years. His volunteering has allowed him to work with children involved in anything from Gloucester Parks and Recreation programs to Special Olympics.

"I was totally surprised and honored I was chosen," Coats said. He said long-time friend Daniel Carmine and Coats’ step-daughter, Jennifer Carmine, nominated him for the honor.

"I have enjoyed the opportunity to have had the chance to work with children from 4-5 years old in whiffle ball to working with young adults with special needs," Coats said.

In addition to Parks and Recreation, Coats was involved with the Special Olympics program from 1990-99. In 2002, he was asked to be the coordinator of the Gloucester STAR ...

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