The Evans Family Reunion has chosen for the first time ever, the city of Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate 52 consecutive years of family love and connection. But not only did the cancellation of the much-anticipated Atlanta event, due to the coronavirus world pandemic, disappoint a lot of family members, but it also threatened the family’s long standing consecutive run of 52 years. But with the record in jeopardy, Evans Family Reunion President, Tommy Evans, decided to take action. He decided to utilize technology in the form of the Zoom Meetings app to keep the streak alive. Zoom Meetings is a popular cloud-based video conferencing application, used primarily by businesses to host meetings with remote or international colleagues and clients – the basic version is also completely free of charge, but an upgrade was warranted because more time was needed for program.
Every year, generations of relatives travel from across the nation and sometimes internationally to connect in love and respect at what was the brainchild of Daisy Cockerham (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and her brother Herman “Bo” Evans (Michigan City, Indiana), both now deceased. The annual event travels from state to state. This year marks its 52nd year. This year family members chimed in from all across the nation.
“It’s history in the making,” said Tommy Evans of Memphis, Tennessee. “It broke my heart to think that this 52-year record was about to be broken. I just wasn’t having it. My father was L.T. (Boot) Evans. And he always taught me to roll with the punches. He would have wanted me to find another way. And the Zoom technology was just the answer I needed.” Evans teamed up with is daughter, Kim Evans to host a flawless web reunion using Zoom. After the buzzing and colorful meet and greet that kicked off the program, the father daughter duo, managed the agenda which included singing and presentations from Dr. Starlette Patterson-Biddle, Dr. Tamea Evans, and Rev. Kevin Long. Some family members even made pandemic t-shirts to wear for the event.
The reunion’s consecutive streak was almost broken in 2014 when Tunica and surrounding areas had extensive flooding and there was talk of cancelling the reunion. But continuity prevailed as the family elected to move forward with its plans because the hotel that it was booked at had minimal impact in the area that they were staying in.
The Evans Family Reunion celebrates the 12 children of Clarence and Rosalee Evans. It draws approximately 150 members and has been held in Denver, Colorado, Dallas, Texas, Gulf Port, Mississippi, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Tunica Mississippi, and Memphis, Tennessee, among others. Tommy Evans, based out of Memphis, is the national president. His father, L.T. (Boot) Evans, was one of the family’s celebrated 12 siblings. “We are excited to celebrate our family’s 52nd anniversary,” said Evans when asked about the historic event. “It’s a true testament to our family ties. And I’m so happy that we were able to keep them again this year.”