Happy 90th Birthday, Mr. Evans!
by Emily McLain
The Sylacauga Care House celebrated the 90th birthday of longtime volunteer Eugene Evans at First Presbyterian Church on July 9. Care House staff gathered with partners from local churches and organizations to recognize the momentous occasion, presenting Evans with a new recliner and a birthday cake reading, “Now we’re open for business!” – a line Evans says every day after the staff’s opening prayer.

Evans, more commonly known as “Slim,” has been a loyal help at the Care House for 16 years.

“He is one of those people who, very seriously, if we had more people like him, the world would be a better place,” said Care House Director Earl Lewis. “He’s just a good guy, and we felt it would be appropriate to honor him.”

Lewis explained that volunteering has become somewhat of a tradition for Evans and his family.

“His wife, Leola, worked at the Care House from the time it opened in the 80s until she passed away a few years ago,” he said. “(Eugene) started the same time I did, and he’s been there basically every day with the exception of the time he had some knee surgery. He’s always there. When his wife died, his son, Ray Evans, started coming and he works almost every day as a volunteer now as well.”

Evans said he initially “just followed his wife” when she worked with Care House, and after she passed away, he continued going to keep himself busy. As for what he most enjoys about the work, he said it’s “meeting the people, some you know and some you don’t know, and trying to serve the people.”

Lewis clarified to partygoers that the celebration was “not a retirement party; it’s a birthday party,” and they fully expect Evans to continue showing up to unlock the doors every day – something Evans said he will do.

“I don’t ever plan on not working there,” he said.

© 2013