A Dedication Ceremony will be held on Friday, July 14, at 2 p.m. in the Canyon Lake Towne Center for a new memorial bench honoring Canyon Lake resident Karen Bevans, who succumbed to cancer on July 14, 2022, at the age of 73.
The bench was purchased with donations made by community members and installed last month in the Veterans Memorial Park, the park Bevans helped to raise funds to build.
Bevans served the Canyon Lake community for more than a decade. She served on the Veterans Day Committee for more than a decade and took part in planning the city’s annual Veterans Day Celebration. Every year for Veterans Day, Bevans planted flags in the yards of veterans, erected the Field of Honor in the Veterans Memorial Park, and worked the Veterans Day Committee booth. She was also the keeper of a log of Canyon Lake veterans.
Every year on Memorial Day, Bevans would visit the Veterans Memorial Park at 3 p.m. for a moment of silence in honor of U.S. service members. Less than two months before her passing, Bevans was instrumental in helping the city to plant American flags in every yard in the city in honor of Memorial Day. Although she was battling an illness, Bevans planted more than 100 flags and solicited additional volunteers for the city.
With a passion for quilting, Bevans assisted the Quilters Group in making patriotic quilts for Canyon Lake veterans.
Bevans was also a dedicated member of the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee. During her time with the committee, Bevans served as a shelter manager, participated in disaster drills, and made pillowcases to donate to the emergency shelter. As a member of the Riverside County Disaster Corps and a team member of the Riverside Country Functional Assessment Security Team, her dedication to emergency preparedness extended beyond Canyon Lake.
In July 2022, the city recognized Bevans as Citizen of the Month. In October 2022, the city posthumously awarded Bevans the prestigious Jordan Ehrenkranz Spirit Award in honor of her service to the community.
Whether it was the city, a club, a committee, or an individual who needed a volunteer, Bevans could be counted on.
“With the love and appreciation my mother had for veterans and her community, it is only fitting that her memorial bench sits in the Veterans Memorial Park where she dedicated many of her hours,” Nakakihara said. “My family is very grateful to the community for honoring our mother.”
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