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Tribute to Holdens is deserved

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It’s easy to donate money to the causes that matter to you when you have the means.
It’s easy to volunteer with the charities close to your heart when you have the time.
It’s more difficult to make the money and time to do both, but Clarice and Ronnie Holden have made it look easy for more than four decades.
The Holdens, both products of Brunswick County fishing families, have parlayed their talents to support organizations in the local, national and global community in almost 45 years together. It’s why the Brunswick Community College Foundation bestowed upon them the inaugural Clarice and Ronnie Holden Humanitarian Award at the 2013 Dancing with the Brunswick Stars gala. Here’s a summary of that evening’s tribute to them.
Soon after they married, the couple bought Twin Lakes Restaurant in Sunset Beach and began their community involvement. In the mid-1980s, they opened Island Breeze in Sunset Beach, then set about holding fashion shows and extravaganzas to benefit women’s groups, cancer patients, Brunswick County Communities in Schools and scholarships at Brunswick Community College.
Clarice Holden helped establish Widow’s Mite Experience, a ministry that, in partnership with WorldReach, helped finance more than 500 freshwater wells in 27 countries through Operation Blessing Living Water.
The Holdens redoubled their charitable efforts after Ronnie Holden survived an automobile accident that nearly killed him in 2000. He also got involved in Widow’s Mite Experience, eventually becoming CEO of its men’s division.
The Holdens continued working with Operation Blessing, as well as Orphan’s Promise. Through Christian Broadcasting Network Asia, they’re providing food every day for 250 schoolchildren in Manila, Philippines. They’ve sponsored a medical clinic in Uganda and bought cows for people struggling to survive in Africa
The Holdens also teamed with two other couples to open jewelry store franchises in seven cities, with most profits going to Operation Blessing, which opened a school in Turkey as a result.
Back at home, the Holdens have taken in and fostered youth and helped them earn their education. In addition, for the past four years they’ve recruited their Island Breeze vendors to provide complete makeovers to 500 women living in New York City homeless shelters so they can find employment.
The Holdens haven’t done any of this to seek recognition — which is precisely why they deserve it. We thank them for all they’ve done to make our world a better place.