Jennifer Evans was working on an interim basis with Augusta Parks and Recreation last month when she happened to flip open the newspaper.
There, she found an advertisement for a community events coordinator position with the city of Grovetown.
“‘I should go apply for this,’” Evans recalls thinking at the time. “‘This would be perfect.’”
As it turned out, Evans – an Augusta native and Academy of Richmond County graduate – was the ideal candidate.
The city of Grovetown had recently created the position to give its primary recreation facility, Liberty Park, more exposure.
Grovetown Director of Public Works Michael Woods said that he and other city officials were impressed with Evans from the start.
“Her personality stood out,” he said. “We were looking for somebody who could be a people person. We want somebody who can promote the city and promote the gymnasium and community center.”
Liberty Park features gym space with a basketball court; a fitness room; meeting rooms baseball fields; and other amenities.
Woods said that the city had been in talks with the YMCA about the organization taking over operations of the gym.
City council members decided to go a different route, hiring former Columbia County Recreation Director Charlie Beale to perform a study.
“He made suggestions to us about things we could do to help promote the gym and help it grow,” Woods said.
One of the suggestions was to create the aforementioned position.
Evans has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in recreation and leisure services and a specialist degree in event planning.
She said she’s enjoyed the feeling-out process during her first few weeks, and she’s already started a scarecrow contest.
“I’m actually really, really excited about it,” Evans stressed. “We’ve been doing Christmas parade (preparations).
“I was kind of excited that they only have two or three big events every year, because that means I can bring in the stuff that I want to do.”
Evans hopes to offer something for all ages to enjoy.
“I want to try to do some programs for seniors and some for students to do in the summertime,” she said. “Some for adults and some family stuff. … Hopefully everybody in the community will have something to come out for.”
She said she’d like to honor the city’s considerable military population with an appreciation event.
While the newly-created position has offered the excitement of blazing her own trail, Evans admits that it has been interesting without any blueprint to follow.
She said that city officials and the citizens of Grovetown have been helpful as she tries to get accustomed.
Evans says that growing up locally has proven beneficial.
“I’ve lived in the same house and gone to the same church my whole life,” she said. “My grandparents go to church around here. I know so many people in the Augusta/Grovetown area.”