There are many compassionate and giving people in the Canyon Lake community. Karen Bevans is one of them. Karen is a mother, grandmother, community volunteer, shelter foster and a breast cancer survivor.
Karen was born in Cleveland but was raised in California since the age of 4. For 38 years she worked as an analyst for Verizon’s Texas, California and Hawaii locations. After she retired, she went back to work. “When I retired I found that I didn’t like not working, so I went back to work as an assistant funder for a mortgage company,” says Karen.
In 2004, she retired for good when she moved from Santa Ana to Canyon Lake. Karen says, “My dad was living alone in Menifee since my mother passed away in 2003, so I moved to Canyon Lake and had him move in with me so I could care for him.” Once she settled in Canyon Lake, Karen became actively involved in the community by joining clubs and serving on committees.
Helping veterans is a cause that is near and dear to Karen’s heart. She jumps at the chance to help veterans whenever she can. She is an active member of the Canyon Lake Veterans Committee and, in the Sewing Club, she makes Quilt of Valors and donates them to veterans who live in Canyon Lake.
Disaster preparedness is another cause for which Karen enjoys volunteering. She serves as the shelter manager and time keeper for the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee (CLEPC), participates in disaster drills and makes pillowcases to donate to the emergency shelter. In addition to being a member of CLEPC, Karen is a member of the Riverside County Disaster Corps and a team member for the Riverside Country Functional Assessment Security Team (FAST).
Karen stays active in community clubs. She’s a member of the Sewing Club, Garden Club and Dining with Friends Club. She is one of the original 12 members of the Senior Chair Volleyball Club, and has served on the club’s executive board since it formed in 2008. Over the years Karen has served as the club’s president, vice president and secretary, and has held numerous chair positions.
She’s known as the “Mom” in the club. Karen says, “They call me Mom because I’m always organizing things for the club, such as potlucks and play dates with other Senior Chair Volleyball clubs.” Her involvement in Chair Volleyball doesn’t stop in Canyon Lake. She serves on an advisory board for Riverside Senior Chair Volleyball clubs.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2013, Karen has had a lumpectomy and 33 radiation treatments. “I’m cancer free now,” she says proudly.
After losing her beloved dog a few months ago, Karen signed up to be a foster at Second Chance Shelter. Her first foster dog was Lexi LaRue. “I fostered her for three weeks, then adopted her. A week later I noticed she was pregnant. She delivered six puppies three weeks after that,” says Karen.
Karen has two children, Brandilyn and Kristi, and four grandchildren. When not spending time with family and caring for puppies, Karen enjoys reading, sewing and quilting, and playing Mexican Train at the Canyon Lake Senior Center.