This week’s charity spotlight is STAR, or Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, in Loudon County. STAR uses horses as a therapeutic modality for handicapped persons and serves children and adults from Anderson, Blount,Campbell, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Jefferson, Monroe, McMinn, Roane, and Sevier counties. STAR works with individuals starting at age four to seniors with physical, mental and neurological disabilities or those considered at-risk. STAR provided 4,565 lessons for 252 participants in 2009. STAR began in 1987 as Lynn Petr’s Therapeutic Recreation Master’s thesis project at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The program started with five riders, one horse, three volunteers and one employee (Lynn).