Source: Sherman Publications

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Do it for Shane

by David Fleet

April 09, 2014

An area family is working to help prevent a childhood killer.

Shane Michael Holton, 21, a 2011 Goodrich High School graduate, was found dead inside his barracks room on Nov.14, 2013 at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. Shane was serving as an intelligence analyst assigned to 184th Military Intelligence Company, Brigade Troops Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He had served about a year-and-a-half of a four-year stint in the Army.

"The cause of Shane's death is still uncertain," said Linda Holton, Shane's mother. "He was born premature, but had no health issues. Shane was a soldier and loved the outdoors. He was an active young man like any youth in their early twenties. As a parent you just don't think it could happen."

Since the loss of their son, the Holton family, along with the assistance of the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation (, are making efforts to help prevent heart ailments in young adults, a possible cause of Shane's death

On May 17, the Holtons and the foundation will host a free teen heart screening at Goodrich High School. The clinic will be staffed with medical volunteers from Hurley Medical Center. The clinic is open to all teens.

"Over the two years we've screened more than 1,000 students at Genesee County high schools and found 13 heart ailments," said Mary Smith, foundation president. "It's vital that parents are aware the clinics are available."

"One of the best ways to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in children is to have an electro-cardiogram (ECG/EKG) and, if needed, an echo-cardiogram, both painless tests where physicians can look at a heart. What we found out, after the death of our own child, is that school/sports physicals do not test student's hearts and a doctor typically will not prescribe one of these tests for children unless there are symptoms of a heart ailment. Ninety-five percent of the children that collapse have no prior symptoms."

Justin Broecker, a GHS senior and Goodrich Skeet teammate with Shane, is organizing a local fundraiser for the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation.

"Shane loved to skeet shoot," said Broecker. "I needed a Capstone project to graduate this spring, so I combined the two and organized the Shane Holton Memorial Shoot. I wanted to do something in Shane's honor where everyone can have fun and help a great cause."

So far, more than 30 shooters have signed up for the event at the Grand Blanc Huntsman's Club, 9046 S. Irish Road, Grand Blanc.

"Come on out, we have room for 80 shooters," he added. "The funds are needed to help save lives."

The event is April 26 and 27. The skeet shooting event is $20 per gauge, 12, 20, 28 and .410. You do not have to participate in all four gauges. More information and to preregister, call 810-636-7261 or Justin Broecker, 810-358-3822