Passionate for Many Causes

By JANIE HARRIS

Staff Writer

 In 2004, Evelyn Peters was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. She experienced improvement until January 2008, when she was diagnosed with mesenteric disease, but this was not the only bad news heard at the time. Her cancer had also spread to her bones and her liver. Evelyn Peters lost her battle in February 2008.

From this, the Evie Peters Foundation was born at the hand of Peters’s granddaughter, Natalie Crawford.

Natalie Crawford works at Piedmont as Director of Student Activities and Campus Events, but she does much more than that. She is one of the more powerful women in Habersham County. She is a commissioner for Habersham County District 4, the founder of The Evie Peters Foundation, a singer, songwriter and a mother of two children.

“I want to be a resource, and I hope people see someone who wants to be helpful and tries very hard to do that,” said Crawford.

As Director of Student Activities, Crawford coordinates and plans almost every event on campus, along with creating a master calendar of these events. Recently, a good number of these events have given proceeds to the Evie Peters Foundation, which is a charity foundation created to help those with breast cancer in Habersham County who may have a financial burden due to their cancer.

Around the same time that Peters lost her battle, Crawford’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Crawford, in reaction to the impact breast cancer had on her life, created the Evie Peters Foundation in 2009. Due to events in Crawford’s personal life, the foundation sat dormant for a few years, but in 2011, Crawford was finally able to determine a board and get the foundation up and running.

“In my greatest imaginations, this is going to be a foundation that lives far beyond me. It needs to out-live me and grow,” Crawford said.

Crawford continues to work as chairman of the Evie Peters Foundation and recently prepared for their annual Pink and Black Gala on March 15. She is currently organizing the foundation’s 5k for May 11.

In the most recent election on November 6, 2012, Crawford was elected as one of the five commissioners for Habersham County.

Crawford, in speaking on why she decided to run, said, “I enjoy working with people and helping people, and I saw an opportunity to try to do some good things for my county.”

Senior Kayla Waston, a student working under Crawford, has a tremendous amount of respect for Crawford.

“She really does care about the positions that she is in and how it influences everyone else,” said Watson.

Still, she is not just an influential member of the community. She is also a mother.

“My kids would be, I think, my greatest accomplishment,” said Crawford. She does not let her many careers get in the way of her family. Outside of her work, a good amount of her life is spent with her children. She has a 13-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son.

When Crawford is not spending time with her family and close friends, she is writing and playing her own music. Crawford plays the guitar and enjoys listening to music. 

“It’s a great release for me to sit and write and play or sometimes to just sit and enjoy someone else’s art,” said Crawford.

But how does she do it all?

Senior Jessica Wilkie, who also works under Crawford, said, “She has some serious time management skills, and she also works really hard when she’s not at work.”

Those who work around her say Crawford has made a large impact in the community.

“One individual can make a difference- small or large. It just requires that you stand up and say, ‘Hey, I’ll do something,’” said Crawford.

 

For more information about the Evie Peters Foundation, visit https://www.facebook.com/eviepetersfoundation.