Personality profile: Clara Holcomb

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

September 7, 2013

Clara Holcomb is an avid volunteer with Breast Cancer Research Foundation of the Triad, Inc., a foundation whose goal is to raise money to fund cancer research.

BCRF was founded in 1995 by Carolyn Myers and Patricia Hutchens.

“The two ladies who started this foundation, Carolyn and Patricia, were my husband’s aunt and first cousin,” Holcomb said. “I know people that have been affected, and I just thought, you know this is a good cause.”

Holcomb organizes the annual luncheon to honor the cancer survivors in the area and raffle off quilts and other goods. The profits go to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for cancer research.

“I had the idea for the first luncheon as a way to honor cancer survivors and remind them that we not only raise money for research, but we truly care for them and the difficulties they have experienced,” Holcomb said.

Each year’s luncheon has a particular theme. This year’s luncheon, the eighth annual, features the theme of “Christmas Hope.”

“I’m always planning and looking for things that fit the luncheon theme,” Holcomb said. “My daughter April is by my side during the process and the other members help during prep week and the event.”

Past themes have included “Rock and Roll for a Cure” and “Jungle of Hope.”

Holcomb began working with the foundation after her grandmother suffered from breast cancer. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer following her start at the cancer organization.

Holcomb credits her mother, Mary Leigh Collins, for instilling in her a sense of volunteerism.

She also volunteers with the United Way Day of Caring, Impact Yadkin, and projects through her church.

She is a lifetime member of Center United Methodist Church, where she serves on the Outreach Committee.

Holcomb grew up in the Center community in Yadkin County, graduating from Forbush High School.

She attended Forsyth Technical Institute for her business degree and now lives in the Lone Hickory area.

She is married to Dean Holcomb and they have two children: daughter April Holcomb Shore and son Brian Holcomb.

Clara worked 40 years for RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and Electronic Data Systems before retiring. Now she spends her free time with her grandchildren.

April and her husband Scott have a daughter named Jenna and a six-week-old son named Jacob.

Clara and her family say they would appreciate prayers for Jacob as he stays in the newborn intensive care unit.

Jacob was born anemic and has had pulmonary hypertension as a result, causing him to be on a ventilator and oxygen.

He is off the machines now but still has a way to go, as doctors decide if the anemia is caused by a virus (as the family hopes) or problems with his bone marrow or immune system issues.

He has had five blood transfusions in his short life.

Clara has been to the hospital every day since July 18 to visit him. She and the family hope Jacob will be able to come home soon.

The foundation’s luncheon will be held Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. in the Center United Methodist Church fellowship hall. Tickets are $12. A quilt by Olean Harris of Boonville, a 93-year-old cancer survivor, will be raffled off: tickets are $1 or six for $5.

To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15 or email him at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.