12/24/06 — Mentoring helps couple cope with loss of son

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Mentoring helps couple cope with loss of son

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 24, 2006 2:10 AM

Danielle and Billy Holloway lost their only child, a 7-year-old son, to cancer in September 2005.

He will never be replaced, but the couple say they have found a way to share their love with another young person. They have volunteered to be mentors with Smart Choices for Youth Inc.

The couple moved to Goldsboro in March through Mrs. Holloway's job with the Air Force. While they haven't been officially matched up yet with a child, they shared some of their testimonial at Smart Choices' 17th annual appreciation banquet at Lane Tree Golf Club.

Their child's death "has showed us just how precious life is," Mrs. Holloway said. "That's why we're here, to make a difference in the life of another child since we weren't able to have our son for his entire life."

Timothy Whitfield's job with the city Recreation and Parks department gave him a lot of contact with young people. He said he knew that's where his strengths lay. But it wasn't until he was doing some substituting at Goldsboro Middle School that he decided to become a mentor.

"I met my mentee through a gym class, and then I volunteered (with Smart Choices)," Whitfield said. Soon after he completed his paperwork, he and the 15-year-old youth were matched.

"We got together, started having fun. ... From then on, he came to my church a couple of times, we developed a nice relationship. It's been good."

Several awards were presented at the banquet. Larry Polite was named volunteer of the year for his work in the Mentoring of Children of Prisoners program. Gordon Bateman was named volunteer of the year for the Governor's One on One program. Distinguished service awards went to Matthew McNair, a mentor in the Mentoring of Children of Prisoners program, and Shelly Williams, a mentor with Governor's One on One.

Couples of the Year awards went to Antra and Kennedy Gray and James and Dollie Mozingo. Juanita Joseph of Seymour Johnson Air Force received the community organization partner award. RBC Centura Bank received the corporate sponsor award.