A week or so ago, Jamie Wilcox, who was out here, asked me if I would like to hear some news that would brighten my day. Of course, I said yes. He told me that I had won Epcon Communities’ Lifestyle Ambassador Award. “Me?” I remember saying. “Me?”
Since then, I have wanted to share my exciting news on this blog, but I couldn’t think of a way to do it without sounding boastful. So I kept waiting for inspiration to strike.
Then, as often happens, my neighbor Ollie came to my rescue. She asked if she could write a post announcing the news. I am happy to make her my first-ever guest blogger.
Before I turn this space over to Ollie, the teacher in me wants to clarify a point. Epcon Communities is the company that designed our homes. Their concept calls for clubhouse communities that feature one-story living with a low maintenance lifestyle. Epcon is the franchiser, but not the builder. Wilcox Communities, our builder, is an Epcon franchisee.
And, finally, I want to thank Epcon for selecting me and Ember for nominating me.
Now, here’s Ollie’s post:
Home Sweet Abbey seems to be a wonderful place to announce that Caryl Dierksen, author of this column (normally), has been chosen to receive the Lifestyle Ambassador Award for the Epcon Communities nationwide. As most of you know, Caryl has been very helpful to our community in so many ways that it’s hard to keep track of them all. But, let me try to count the ways.
(By the way, this edition of Home Sweet Abbey is not written by Caryl, but by a neighbor and compadre of Caryl’s (and former Lifestyle Ambassador herself) so we really know the thrill and surprise of this award.
Caryl will be going to Columbus, Ohio, on Feb 2 to receive the award and to give a speech before all the Epcon “bigwigs” and other developers of Epcon communities. But, back to the many ways Caryl came to receive this honor.
- She has been a homeowner here at the Maples at the Sonatas in Woodstock for 4 1/2 years and has served as Resident Trustee of the Advisory Committee for most of those years. In this role she acts as the liaison between the homeowners and the developer and/or property management company and helps resolve any issues that arise. She has traveled to other communities to meet with other Resident Trustees to share ideas for the benefit of each of those communities.
- As you all know, Caryl is the force behind and the writer of Home Sweet Abbey. Her pictures and stories have helped to bring some wonderful people to our community.
- Caryl has been influential in the Maples’ extremely busy social calendar including: holiday/themed parties, ladies tea, book club, Bible study, Coffee and Conversation, pool parties, and sports watching parties.
- Caryl makes sure that our new residents feel welcome and helps them get acquainted with other neighbors. She volunteers a lot of her time writing her blog, listening to the concerns of other homeowners, attending committee meetings, planning events, and helping out in the sales office. It’s often a long and somewhat lonesome day for Angie and Shadow, but they (her cats) seem to understand that all she does leads to a more enriching community experience and higher quality of life for future and current residents. Even her own Facebook page is largely concerned with Maples news and happenings.
- And we personally know that she spends a lot of time with Marge (her 94 year-old mother), and singing in her church choir, and helping others in the community when troubles bump into them, i.e., grocery shopping, playing taxi driver, etc. Caryl was a schoolteacher in an earlier life and still has that schoolteacher mentality of “learn something new every day and life will never be boring.”
We all love Caryl and are so very proud of her and are grateful for all she has done for all of us. Congratulations, Caryl. And thank you again and again.