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Flash mob assists with Clark’s marriage proposal

Irene Martorell Crespo accepted Austin Clark’s wedding proposal, which involved a flash mob at Bridge Street Town Centre.

MADISON – With a little help from his friends, Austin Clark staged an unforgettable marriage proposal for Irene Martorell Crespo.

Austin and Irene met at U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. He’s a senior; she’s a junior. Austin attended Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools and will be a Commissioned Officer after graduation in May. Irene is from La Ceiba, Honduras.

“We met as she passed through my company area. Her being a fourth class (at that time) I harassed her a bit, jokingly. She blushed and hurried away,” Austin said.

“I had intended to be flirty and comical, but I feared I came across as a mean upperclassman,” he said. Their relationship blossomed. This past Christmas, Austin and Irene visited her parents, Augstin and Beatriz Crespo, in Honduras. The Crespos were thrilled about a son-in-law.  

Likewise, Austin’s parents, Ken and Nansi Clark of Madison, cherish Irene. So much so, Nansi gave a diamond from her own engagement ring for Irene’s ring that Austin designed. “Mama wore it over 30 years. Now, it’s for Irene to wear the rest of her life,” Austin said.

For an unforgettable proposal, Austin convinced Irene they were visiting Madison on Feb. 18 for his sister Shige’s surprise birthday party. Shige recently returned from deployment in Iraq.

Austin arranged for his five brothers and sister Shige, along with Irene’s family from Honduras, to attend the ‘party’ at Bridge Street. Austin organized a flash mob to introduce his proposal.

Selecting the ‘mob music’ was easy. In months past, he and Irene heard “Marry Me” by Jason Durello. Austin told her, “Maybe I’ll propose to you with that song someday.”

Leading the flash mob, Jen Besaw with Rocket It Fitness choreographed a dance for The Westin’s courtyard. “Ms. Jenn worked diligently with the whole mob gang. We even had a secret Facebook page,” Austin said.

“It was crazy, fun and exciting to keep it a secret from Irene,” Nansi said. “It was a glorious and blessed weekend bringing the two families together … the start of a wonderful life together for Austin and Irene.”

Austin’s brothers Zachary and Ryan and sister Shige are graduates of U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Austin’s brother Kacey attended West Point for two years and earned degrees at University of Alabama in Huntsville and Northeastern University.

Austin’s brother Pieter Clark, enrolled at Marion Military Institute, has applied to U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Irene’s older siblings, Isaac and Beatriz, are West Point graduates. Irene’s younger sister also attends Coast Guard Academy.

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