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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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Evans recognized with service award


Enterprise staff

LIVINGSTON -- When the name Clarke Evans is mentioned in Polk County, there aren't many who need an explanation. He has had an influence on most of the area's organizations, civic activities and events. Evans has been nominated as one of the recipients of the 2014 Chamber Banquet Community Service Award from the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce. The Livingston mayor has been a president, treasurer and zone chairman of the Livingston Lions Club. He has been a president, vice president and director of the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the Livingston ISD Board of Trustees for nine years, the building committee during construction of the current chamber building, a past member of the Polk County Appraisal Review Board and past chairman and director of the Polk County Appraisal District. He is a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where he continues to serve as a committee member. He is also a member of the Tejas Vaqueros, supporter of the Trinity-Neches Livestock Show and past president of the Polk County Youth Rodeo Association. Evans still functions as director of the Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency and a member of the Livingston Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors. The Livingston High and Sam Houston State University graduate is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, honorably discharged with the rank of captain. He is a former member of the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department and city alderman. He received the Lions Club Fellow Award, where he has 45-years of perfect attendance; the Lions Club Century Award, given for years of service, character, time devoted to the club and involvement; and was given the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Club, without being a member. You might say he's a little active in the community. "I feel like the community has been absolutely fantastic to me," Evans said. "It has provided me an opportunity to come back home after graduating college and be able to make a living and raise my children here. I have seven children and they are a big part of it. I certainly do cherish the small town environment and atmosphere. I feel very strong that the backbone of any city is the volunteers and people who work for different organizations to try to give us a better community to live." When asked to pinpoint just a few of the things he does that stand apart from the rest, the mayor found it dif-ficult, admitting he has a passion for each of them. "I certainly enjoy doing benefit auditions, but I do quite a bit of them," Evans said. "I enjoy the FFA and 4-H Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the youth baseball and basketball activities. I have really enjoyed being on the city council and serving the city. That has probably been the biggest fulfillment that I have ever had — to be able to interact with our employees. "I became mayor the year that (Hurricane) Ike came through town and that was a tremendous experience for me to see how much these employees give their time and their life to perform city service. It has been a very rewarding job, but to pick out one thing would be really hard. There are so many things I believe in strongly and enjoy trying to be a part of." Evans said his mother was a lifelong Polk Countian. When she and his father married, they moved to Houston. They returned in the summer between his seventh and eighth grade years. "Really, I have never considered anything but Polk County my home," he said. "I went to college for four years and the Army for two. The opportunities are here if somebody works hard. The people — I don't think you could find nicer and better people anywhere in the country than what you find in Polk County. I think we're so fortunate that we have strong churches, service clubs, banks and we have a lot of things right here that add back to the community. It's changed since 1969 when the lake came. We were a farming community up until that time. With cotton, corn, soybeans and timber — it was mainly agricultural. Now, retirement is probably our biggest industry, so the whole complex has changed. It is just a wonderful group of people and a very giving community and very caring community. There is a strong feeling of taking care of your neighbor. It seems like if someone stumps their toe, there is a group out there doing something to help them. That has been extremely rewarding to me, to see the attitude of the people. It's the whole county, it's not just one particular area — it's countywide." The diversity of events and organizations Evans helps with has allowed him to experience and learn from many different opportunities. "I think that it has been magnified, because I have had different areas of exposure," he said. "Coming up with my kids, my activities were somewhat limited, according to what they did. That was the same thing that all the kids do. As they got older, gradually I got involved in the chamber of commerce and the Lions Club. By doing that, you get exposed to different areas of volunteer work and different areas of need that I wasn't exposed to in my younger years. I think that it is always been here, but sometimes you are just not around it or aware of it." Evans has certainly realized countless achievements in the community, even after a time of adjustment. Brought up as an only child, he now finds himself with a wife, seven children, 15 grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren. Some could argue that as a full-time job in itself. "I am extremely humbled," Evans said of the community service award. "When I was made aware that I was receiving the award, the first thing that came to my mind was I certainly felt like there were lots of people who were a whole lot more deserving than what I would be. I have been very humbled and am very proud." Tickets for the 2014 Chamber Banquet Awards will be presold at the chamber office for $30. The event will be held Jan. 30 at the Polk County Commerce Center in Livingston at 6 p.m. For more information, call or visit the chamber office at 1001 U.S. Highway 59 Loop North or (936) 327-4929


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