On Sunday, March 28, many residents, family, and friends assembled at Johns Park to pay a tribute to Ashland City resident Quintenn Clark who recently lost his life at a young age due to a drug overdose. Those who attended were able to purchase balloons which were released in his honor, as well as bracelets printed in his memory.
Clark was a graduate of Cheatham Central High, and was a standout athlete on the baseball field as well as the football team. He was described as an all-around young man who was well liked by everyone he met.
Walter Croy, father of Austin Croy, one of Clark's closest friends stated, “He was such an important part of our community. It has been a great loss, and we want to raise awareness about addiction. It has hit home to a lot of people, and we want to do this every year to help remember Quintenn and help his family with the scholarship in his name.”
He stated his son had played baseball with Quintenn since they were seven-years old until they graduated. Croy added, “If anyone has an addiction, there are people out here who want to help.”
Alicia Johnstone, one of the organizers of the activities said, “Quintenn was way more than this... he had a huge heart and lit up the room when he walked in. We are raising awareness of the drug problem, but it should never overshadow Quintenn as a person.”
A scholarship in Clark’s name is being set up at Cumberland Heights for people who are less fortunate, and who want and need help but are unable to pay for their rehab.
Tonya Garton, mother of young Clark stated, “We are coming together to honor Quintenn, but it is to raise awareness for drug overdoses and addiction recovery. But we are hoping that in Quintenn’s passing, we can help heal somebody else; that would be our greatest gift.”
Dale Smith, a longtime member of the Cheatham County Sheriff's Office, has worked for many years with the drug task force. He added, “We have to get the message out there and make the young people aware of how serious the problem we have is. We have a major problem in this country, and a serious drug problem in Cheatham County."
When asked about a recent report regarding drug use in Tennessee, Smith replied, “Yes, we (Cheatham) have the highest rate of drug use per capita in the state.” He added, “We have to get a grip on it now, because it is only getting worse."
Anthony Clark, father of Quintenn and employee of Ashland City Parks and Recreation, stated on his facebook page, “If anyone wants a wristband and did not get one, please contact me and I will get it to you. The bracelets are $5.00, and proceeds go to Q’s Cumberland Heights Scholarship Fund or you can make a donation. We want to thank everyone for the support so far in our journey to bring awareness and offer help to fight addiction.”
(Photos: Daryell Smith)