Explore Corsicana January-March 2019 - Page 35

MAKING A DIFFERENCE MAKING A DIFFERENCE Rose Clark Corsicana Police Department Committed to fighting addiction It is often those who have been through the most heartache who are capable of the most empathy for others. Such is the case for Corsicana Police Officer Rose Clark. The things that have shaped and defined the character of Clark are tragic, but none more so than the loss of her eldest daughter Catherine Rose to a drug overdose in November 2017. The first part of Clark’s life could be a book or movie itself, with communal living, moves to several foreign countries, and she found herself married with four children at a young age. One good thing that came from living in foreign countries is that Clark is fluent in Spanish, which is a huge help as she patrols the streets of Corsicana. Reaching out to a mother who recently lost her two daughters was something Clark felt compelled to do. No one understands the pain and the grief of losing a child like someone who has had the same loss. Rose took her grief and has tried to make good come from it. She said after losing a child, you feel lost, and begin to wonder what your purpose on this earth really is. She knows being a police officer makes a positive difference, but her compassion extends beyond that, perhaps due to her missionary background. After the loss of her beautiful daughter, Clark’s priorities changed. She feels called to help the downtrodden, the addicts, those with mental health issues. She feels a need to do things in Catherine’s name to help others, as a tribute to her memory. Clark, her children, grandchildren and ex-husband did a walk against addiction called Shatterproof. She hands out bracelets to people she meets who are addicts, to show them where their life is headed if they stay on their current path. She is taking more and more public speaking engagements, to share about her loss and make people aware of the permanent harm done by drugs. Clark did a Women Inspiring Women event hosted by Tresa Shimonek, and a Unity in the Community event, organized by Cody Muldner. She has worked with Drug Prevention Resources to help promote awareness, and one of her big missions is to get the Good Samaritan Act passed. That law is in effect in some states, where if a person has drugs on them and calls 911 for someone who has overdosed, that person who reports will not be arrested. “If they knew they wouldn’t get in trouble for helping someone ... but the law was proposed and shot down in Texas in 2015,” she said. Clark lives with the constant question: If the man with her daughter, who is also an addict, had just chosen to call 911 when he first found her that way, would the outcome have been different? “It’s a national crisis,” she said. “But what’s being done about it?” Karie Denny MAKING A DIFFERENCE Corsicana Main Street Director Bringing people downtown When Sara Beth Symank left the position as Main Street Director, all were sad and wondered how they would ever find anyone as good. Karie Denny came along with a completely different skill set and set about making the position her own “fit.” With her graphic art background, things like the new “Interurban” magazine featur- ing downtown businesses is out and gracing coffee tables across the city. Mimosas at the Market have become the once-monthly staple for women (and men!) who like to lunch and shop on Sat- urday mornings. Events like Porchfest, Crafternoon, a downtown pop-up event, Paint it Forward, and becoming a finalist to be featured on HULU’s Small Business Revolution’s season four can all be credited to Denny. Denny and husband Field were fine art film photographers and designers. In search of an authentic, simpler life, the family of five (with two boys and one girl) made the trip to Texas from Gilbert, Arizona, where they settled in Powell in a 1958 farmhouse. With her fresh perspective on life in a small, charming historic town, Denny has employed her knowl- edge of design and marketing into making Corsicana a true tourist destination. She sees her role as Main Street director as one to nurture local business and promote tourism. E X P LO R E C O R S I C A N A |   C O R S I C A N A DA I LY S U N | J A N - M A R C H 2 0 1 9 35