Derek Clark knows firsthand the power of attitude in coping with adversity, rejection, and overcoming hardship. His story is one of resilience and redemption. At 5 years of age, Derek's mother and stepfather (his biological father was in prison) abandoned him at an emergency psychiatric facility.

He would spend the next 13 years of his life contending with rejection, humiliation. aggression, emotional distress, and overwhelming anxiety. Yet through it all, Derek never gave up and went from victim to victor by defying the artificial limitations imposed on him.

Derek discovered that he had great amounts of inner wealth and made a choice to tap into it instead of letting his trauma driven past punish his limitless future.

The Ark Gala will feature Derek Clark, motivational speaker, trainer, survivor, author of seven books and "Rapping Dad" with over 200 million viral video views.

He captures the heart of the audience on an emotional level, where transformation really happens. He believes that if he can touch the human spirit, it will create a lasting positive impact on both the personal and professional lives of his audience.

Derek will be The Ark Gala's keynote speaker on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, 1213 Terry Shamsie Boulevard, in Robstown. The Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for Youth's 19th Annual Gala, consisting of silent and live auctions, a dinner, and a program, begins at 6 p.m. KIII TV-3 News Anchor Joe Gazin will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Can you sponsor a table at one of the following levels: The Ark ($15,000), Stork ($10,000), Dove ($5,000), Giraffe ($2,500), or Leopard ($1,000)? All of them seat 10 with signage and recognition at the gala. To assure recognition of your generous contribution in our printed program at the event, we need your commitment or payment by August 31. The sponsors are thanked in our December newsletter and on our website. Contact us as soon as possible so we can reserve your table. (Individual seats cost $60.) Tax-deductible gifts for the auctions are needed by August 31. Auction donors will receive signage at the auction.

The nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency is licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to provide assessment services, emergency shelter, and long-term care for 61 children and youth, ages 0 through 17, who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect by a parents or guardian. The Gala's proceeds pay for services that make a difference in the children's lives at The Ark.