RALEIGH — As recently as 2008, brothers Torry and Terrence Holt were making their impact on an NFL field. Now, they are working something even bigger.
The former N.C. State standouts launched the annual Holt Brothers Football Camp at the WRAL soccer center Friday, marking the first time the former Wolfpack duo hosted the camp outside of their hometown of Gibsonville. An estimated 85 participants from 1st to 8th grade participated in Fridays festivities. A smaller and more specialized group of high school students will prepare for a High intensity skill specific training session today.
The camp is all about fun, but it serves a more important purpose.
The proceeds from the camp go toward the Holt Foundation, a foundation established following the death of Torry and Terrences mother, Ojetta Holt-Shoffner.
The Foundation, established in 1999 only three years after her death, helps families of cancer victims to seek comfort and consolation with other families and individuals who can relate. Torry and Terrence admit to struggling considerably without a support system while coping with their loss. They are reaching out to make sure others dont have to endure the same.
We have social workers and all kinds of volunteers that teach these kids and parents how it is to deal with cancer, Terrence said. Its something weve done for quite a while. Its our foundations overarching mission to provide the kids with emotional and therapeutic support.
Through the program KidsCan!, The Holt Foundation has established monthly meetings at Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh, Duke Cancer Center in Durham, Almance regional Cancer Center in Burlington, and Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, where Torry was a seven-time Pro Bowler with the Rams. The KidsCan! Program at Rex will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary in the coming months.
The Holt Foundation also partners with other organizations, including the YMCA and the Salvation Army during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But their message of encouragement goes beyond the hospital and cancer centers. For the young campers at the Holt brothers football camp, Torry and Terrence help put dreams into perspective.
People look at odds and say thats theres one in so many that will ever make it to the highest level and all that stuff - but why cant that one be you? Terrence said. We try to impress upon the kids that you can create your own legacy and your own path.
Terrence said that by hosting camp each summer and giving kids an opportunity he and Torry never had growing up, they hope to provide local youth an extra advantage.
Whatever you decide to do whether its sports, or becoming a lawyer or doctor, you got to work at it, Torry said.
Torry also said that former teammates and friends, Issac Bruce and Corey Chavous will be helping coach todays session in Raleigh, while former UNC cornerback Dré Bly will be joining him in Gibsonville on Sunday.