Businesswoman perseveres to win civic club award

Maybe it’s Evelyn Owen’s nature or her enjoyment of serving the public. Whatever the characteristic, Seneca Rotary Club deemed her worthy of its prestigious Ballenger Award. The award, named for a pioneer in Seneca business, was presented today to Owen who, for 11 years, has owned and operated a restaurant and consignment shop on Ramcat Alley. Rotarian Lyn Norton said Owen “sort of is Ramcat Alley.” The award is emblematic of loyalty, high ethical standards, and dedication to commerce. But it was Owen’s perseverance through tragedies that impressed Rotarians. A fire in Circa 130’s bathroom in 2010 closed the restaurant for one month. Had it not been doused quickly as it was, fire fighters worried, the fire could have taken out a block of the downtown business area. But what happened last winter to Owen personally was far worse. While visiting out of state, Owen’s home and the homes of two of her neighbors across the Oconee line in Anderson burned to the ground—an incident which resulted in three investigations to determine what happened.