The gymnasium at Wilmington Christian Academy was roaring with excitement Tuesday afternoon. Middle schoolers stomped on the bleachers and cheerleaders kept the energy alive, cheering on some Special Olympics athletes. "This crowd, it's amazing right now. I'm shocked. I don't even know what to say about the crowd. I'm glad they picked me to play for this because I like the crowd, I love fans that are rooting for everybody," said Special Olympics athlete Anthony Ray. WCA students collected $1,000 to buy the athletes new uniforms and basketball equipment for their big games. "I did chores,” said 8th grader Meredith Bunn. “I washed dishes and mowed the lawn and I brought in five to ten dollars." For Meredith, this game is especially important. "I have a brother that has special needs, and it is just good to come and see people who have special needs also and see them play and stuff." Paula Coleman is an athlete’s mother. She said, "There's not words that can tell you how much this means to these kids, to me, to my son, and there's just no expression to how much this means to have a local school to honor us in this way and raise money and give us this equipment. You just don't know how much it means." WCA activities coordinator Tonya Upton said, "We want our kids to understand that education is beyond the classroom and this is part of their education and learning that life isn't all about them, it's about other people and sharing throughout the community and helping others." While the Special Olympics basketball team got a boost Tuesday, the New Hanover County Special Olympics baseball team is doing well too. The team is second in the nation.
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