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Kenney Dennard Publisher

Lillie Gantt-Evans Serves
the Young and the Not So Young Across Middle Georgia

by Amanda Smith

Ms. Lillie Gantt-Evans is a servant at heart and has been serving the Unionville area and more for over 40 years, opening her first daycare in 1967 at 345 Edwards Avenue in Macon, Georgia. Admitting children ages 3 years to 4 1/2 years, Gantt's Preschool now serves as many as 70 preschool-aged children a day from all over the city of Macon, as well as from other neighboring cities like Warner Robins and Forsyth, Georgia.

But Evans doesn't just look out for the little ones. In 1969, she opened LJ Adult Day Care Center, just down the street, at 395 Edwards Avenue. Seeing a need for someone to care for the elderly, Evans provides loving care for older citizens whose families do not want to place them in nursing homes. Understanding that slowing the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia is achieved by keeping the mind (and body) active, Evans makes sure that her older clients are provided with mentally stimulating activities throughout the day at regular intervals. "What people don't realize is that the older people know they're going somewhere and when they are kept active, their brains don’t deteriorate nearly as fast,” said Evans. The adult day care also serves those with disabilities, ages 18 and up. We also have church service every morning and we ask the clients questions about their families; their names and ages, for example, to help them remember as much as possible," she said.

As a registered nurse who retired from the RAFB, Evans relied on her mother to run the facilities until her passing; LJ Adult Day Care is named after Evans' mother. A community activist, Evans participated in the Poor People's March in the 60s and 70s, boycotting Bibb County stores and businesses with the late Bill Randall and Hosea Williams. She has been a staunch advocate for human rights for people of color for many years and was the first black woman elected as President of the Democratic Women's Party. She currently serves as Vice President of the Democratic Party of Bibb County.

In 1986, Evans opened M.A. Evans Academy, serving children ages 5 years to 8 years old. As with Gantt's Preschool, children come from all over the middle Georgia area and the day care serves as many as 180 children each day. Both day care centers have trained, certified teachers who make sure that the children are well-prepared for school. Evans is fiercely independent and has grown her business over the years without ever receiving financial assistance from the government.

In 1991, then-Governor Jimmy Carter appointed Evans as Lieutenant Colonel, Aid DeCamp and she was awarded the Governor's Staff. She also received the Department of the Air Force Service Award and played the role of Christine King (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sister) in the film that depicted his life. On February 24, 2002, the City of Macon awarded Evans with an Honorary Doctorate for service to her community. Honored twice this year, Evans received the Legendary Educator Award at the Historic Douglass Theatre on March 25th and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from Women of Grace Ministries on June 16th.

Evans is a member of New Pleasant Grove Baptist Church where she sings in the Gospel Choir and is a member of the Nurse’s Guild and the Trustee Board.

Evans' child care and adult day care centers are accepting applications for your loved ones. The cost is just $15 a day and everyone is served two balanced meals each day (breakfast and lunch) and a snack. Those who wish to attend one of the centers must attend at least three days a week to hold a spot.

You can reach Evans' centers at the numbers below:
Gantt’s Preschool - (478) 745-0333
M.A. Evans Academy - (478) 238-1530
LJ Adult Day Care Center - (478) 737-5656

Lillie Gantt-Evans
Lillie Gantt-Evans
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