Sybol Norman has made her home at Jensen's Wymberly of Martinez for 23 years.
The 84-year-old, who moved to the Martinez community for active seniors from Michigan, said the property on Columbia Road is the kind of place with lots of activities for active and social seniors and the serenity for those who'd rather sit back and rock.
"The people, they are good," Norman said during her weekly Wednesday ceramics class. "Everybody looks out for each other. There's a closeness here."
But the nearly 300 Wymberly residents aren't the only ones who appreciate their home.
The retirement community -- owned by Jensen's Residential Communities and designed for those 55 and over -- was recently named the 2008 Manufactured Home Land/Lease Community of the Year by the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association.
"We think it is a big deal," said Jamie Hammons, GMHA president. "That (Wymberly) is literally a model community. We are really proud to hold them up as members."
Wymberly earned the honor for the third consecutive year based on the professionalism of the company, cooperation with local and state governments, and community and GMHA involvement.
"It is a good honor. We do a lot of work with the GMHA," Community Manager Pat Long said, adding the GMHA often uses pictures and other information from Wymberly for its flyers. "Because they know that our community is a nice community."
The gated Wymberly community offers its residents leased land for their owned manufactured homes plus a long list of activities and amenities, including a fishing pond, par 3 golf course, pool, ceramics classes, and game nights for board and card games, darts and Bingo.
Resident Kathryn McKie, 87, said she has lived in Wymberly for 15 years and enjoys it because of the safety, people, activities and amenities. Her husband died three years after the couple moved to Wymberly from south Augusta.
"He said he wouldn't worry about me one bit because I was here," McKie said. "We're all the same age and we all live in the same type of houses. So there is no jealousy or trying to outdo one another."
Competitiveness arises only during the July Fourth Golf Cart Parade, when residents decorate their golf cars, the primary mode of transportation on the property.
McKie earned the Best Originality award this Independence Day for her car called The Green Machine, in honor of the recycling theme she used.
"They dress up those golf carts," Long said of residents during the annual parade. "They enjoy it and they have a good time."
Long also earned an award and a new position at the GMHA's annual convention held in June at Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was awarded the 2008 Pacesetter Award and was elected to the GMHA's 2008-09 board of directors.
The award is one given to GMHA members for "consistent involvement above the norm," Hammons said.
Long has served on the membership committee and has been active with the association since he started work at Wymberly 20 years ago.
"It is an honor and I'm glad they chose me," he said.
Long also said he's proud of Wymberly, where people are calling at age 53 and 54 waiting to move into the community. Turnover, Long said, is very slow.
"The people, they move in here and they get to know each other. There's lots of activities that people can do here," Long said. "They are living in a community where they like the community. If they didn't like it, they wouldn't stay here."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.