Derek Clark spent 13 years in the Alameda County, Calif., foster care system, contending with rejection, humiliation, emotional distress and overwhelming anxiety.
But along the way, however, his foster parents planted seeds within him. Seeds of love. It took awhile, but those seeds began to grow and blossom. Now Clark is a motivational speaker and author and last week he told the audience at TPepin's Hospitality Centre those same seeds of love are being planted at A Kid's Place, a 60-bed facility for abused, neglected, or abandoned children.
Clark, who also entertained the audience with singing and rapping, delivered a stirring performance at the May 16 fundraising luncheon, inspiring supporters to embrace the hope that lies in every child.
"Sometimes people with the worst pasts end up creating the best futures," Clark said. "I'll never let the past infect my future. I'll never let a weakness destroy my greatness."
The organization also presented Don and Erika Wallace with the inaugural Dottie Berger MacKinnon Guardian Angel Award. MacKinnon, a tireless advocate for children who founded A Kid's Place in 2009, passed away last year after a long battle with cancer.