Explore Corsicana January-March 2019 - Page 38

MAKING A DIFFERENCE Dynamic duo Sharon Thomas and Emily Lawhon Relay for Life, Old Lumberyard Food and Finds When Sharon Thomas received her breast cancer diagnosis, she didn’t know it, but it was then she’d have to gear up for some very huge battles. An RN since 1977, Thomas went down the Saturday of Derrick Days 2014, having an anaphylactic reaction at a local restaurant. From there, the journey to diag- nosis, the months and months of treatments, a new job, personal issues, and the premature birth of daughter Emily’s child were all stressors that seemed to just keep coming. Sharon, the mom who always welcomed all the girls’ friends at their home, handles most situations with humor and grace. Daughters Ellen and Emily inherited this trait from her. Because of Sharon’s fight with can- cer, Emily took on the responsibility of the Navarro County Relay for Life committee, and is responsible for the fund-raising effort the last several years. She and her mother combine forces in this endeavor, even when Sharon was so sick she could just sit in the tent and encourage others. The ladies also walked in the Susan G. Komen 3-day in Dallas together. Emily has a huge heart, and puts much thought and energy into improving her community and downtown. She owns a downtown business, Old Lumberyard Food and Finds, and is always active in the Mi- mosas at the Market held monthly downtown. Emily and Sharon both would help anyone in need. They are making a difference in Navarro County. 38 Man on a mission Bank and beyond Ricky Walter Lifeline Family Fellowship Lifeline Fellowship Family Church is pastored by Ricky Walter, who leads the flock in following the Lord. But it is Lifeline Children and Family Services, of which Walter is executive director, that he started in 2003 in order to help those with illnesses that are often misunderstood. Walter learned his certification as a Na- tional Board Certified Licensed Profession- al Counselor, and Chemical Dependency Counselor. He earned advanced degrees in counseling, and is working to graduate with his doctorate this semester. Returning to Corsicana, Walter wished to meet a need he’s especially aware of, with a goal of making mental health services more available to people in this rural com- munity. People without insurance are often forced to go to big cities to receive help, as counselors are at times in short supply in a rural area such as Navarro County. “Some people fall through the cracks and can’t afford those services if they don’t have insurance or Medicaid, so they go without being treated,” he said. At this point in time, while the govern- ment is cutting Medicaid funding, there’s also an opiod crisis, a meth crisis and about 65 percent of people arrested in Corsicana suffer from a mental illness. Once Lakes Regional closed its Corsicana clinic, there are no longer any substance abuse services in Navarro County, and very few programs for children. Walter seeks to help families with a child with ADHD, and he wants to help educate any pastors who are willing to help remove the social stigma from seeking help for a mental illness. Lifeline Children and Family Services is a non-profit organization started for the purpose of foster care and adoption, which it still does. There are offices in Corsicana, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Jarod Gordon Community National Bank and Trust Jarod Gordon, Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of Com- munity National Bank and Trust of Texas currently serves on the board of the Corsicana YMCA, Corsicana Salvation Army, Treasurer for the Corsicana Education Foundation and serves as the board chairman on the Corsicana Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. He has participated in the Navarro County Chamber of Com- merce’s Total Resource Campaign as well. He coaches little league baseball and teaches a fitness class at the YMCA. Jarod and his wife Casey will also be joining five other local celebrity dance couples in this year’s Dancing For Our Stars fundraiser to benefit Navarro College scholarships. Parents of two sons, Bennett, 4, and Gunner 2, the family is active in First United Methodist Church of Corsicana congregation. Jarod said time is his most valuable asset and volunteering is his way to leave the community better than he found it. “I think there’s a lot of need out there for children and education,” he said. “Some people don’t have the same chances we have, so I do any- thing I can do to help those in need.” Gordon has been with the bank for 10 years, working with trust and investment clients for the past nine years. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Manage- ment. In addition, he graduated from the Texas Bankers Association Trust & Graduate Trust Schools along with graduating from the American Bankers Association Trust School. He has attained the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor certification. J A N - M A R C H 2 0 1 9 |   C O R S I C A N A DA I LY S U N | E X P LO R E C O R S I C A N A