During the recent COVID-19 quarantine, Ford Plantation members have repeatedly expressed gratitude for the sanctuary and care of a compassionate community embracing their neighbors. Extraordinary efforts were made by both members and staff to ensure that life did not come to a standstill during the quarantine—meals were prepared and delivered touch-free by our food and beverage team, members hosted virtual book clubs and wine tastings, our concierge team picked up and delivered groceries and prescriptions, and both virtual and in-person doctors visits were arranged for special circumstances.
We’ve received numerous notes like the ones that follow, each relating a deeply personal experience during an incredibly difficult time. And while the circumstances of each story are different, all contain the common threads of hope, gratitude, and the belief that brighter days lie ahead. These notes have been a tremendous source of inspiration for us, and our hope is that they will inspire you as well.
“Welcome Back Home. Enjoy Dinner,” signed by Zach, Jarrill and Paige. This was the note accompanied by a steak dinner that greeted me upon my arrival at Ford on March 27th after a 12-hour drive.
I was coming from New York City after having spent the prior three weeks in virtual isolation, tending to several board meetings and other obligations. Given the concerns around COVID-19 in NYC, I was a bit concerned about just showing up at The Ford Plantation. I had sent an email to the general manager to make him aware of my plans, and he couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming—and that was before the steak dinner.
My wife Karen and I have been property owners and members at The Ford Plantation since 1999. Like many, we were attracted by the incredible natural beauty, the sense of history and the extraordinary community of people. This community of people includes not only our fellow members but also our amazing staff of employees, who are so focused on the well-being of the property and members. Our most recent experiences over the past few weeks have only increased our appreciation of the staff at Ford.
As I was sheltering in place in NYC, my wife Karen was in Florida dealing with a serious health incident (not related to COVID-19) suffered by her mother in very early March. As Karen struggled in Florida trying to sort out the issues surrounding her mother, the growing virus constraints were further complicating our lives. We were fortunate that our daughter, Alexandra, was able to travel from Colorado to Florida in early March to be with Karen and offer much-needed support. Our plan was for me to travel back to Florida to help out and also start to make plans about moving everyone back to NY.
The travel restrictions put in place by the various states rendered our plans to relocate unfeasible. We decided the best course of action would be for Karen and Alexandra to travel to Ford and join me here. That was also a bit complicated because our house is currently under renovation and there was not enough room for everyone.
We again reached out to the general manager at The Ford Plantation, who couldn’t have been more understanding, supportive, and welcoming. He arranged for Karen and Alexandra to have separate rooms in The Main House—which had been closed per social distancing requirements—so they could quarantine. It was also a great venue for Alexandra, who needed both WiFi and a proper setting to teach her second-grade class remotely.
The happy result is that Karen and I are back together again after six weeks apart. We are with our daughter, and the second grade at Aspen Country Day School is being taught from Henry Ford’s Mansion in Georgia, which they think is pretty cool.
None of this would have happened without the supportive staff at The Ford Plantation. The leadership of the club board and the general manager have been outstanding. Club staff has been invaluable for so many reasons, from the wonderful food being prepared by the food and beverage team to the support from security by receiving packages and other items for us. The Hughes family is very thankful for being at Ford during this difficult time.
-Jeff, Karen and Alexandra Hughes
In late March, my wife Marilyn and I both were unfortunate enough to contract the COVID-19 virus. After enduring the symptoms for a week in our home at The Ford Plantation, we were both hospitalized for more than a week, after which we were released and returned home.
We will be forever grateful for the texts, letters, emails, phone calls, and prayers we received from so many members of the Ford community. The homemade soups, cookies, snacks, Gatorade, flowers, cards and notes left at the house were so very appreciated during this time. We heard from so many of you whom we have met over the past three years and from many we have never met. It truly shows the character of people who live and work at The Ford Plantation and reaffirms to us what a special place this is.
The golf course staff, everyone at the clubhouse, Kacey at the real estate office and so many other employees reached out with well-wishes. A very special thank you to the security team at The Ford Plantation who stopped by and checked on us several times a day and were ready to do anything we needed.
Dr. Bob and the staff at the local urgent care were so professional and acutely aware of our needs, knowing exactly what to do, even helping to load me in the ambulance—twice!
A very special thanks to General Manager Marc Ray who, from the moment I notified him that we weren’t feeling well, was on top of everything. For calling and checking on us daily, dropping off soup and supplies, and arranging for security to keep an eye on us, we are truly grateful. When it became evident that we weren’t getting better, Marc arranged for me to be tested, and he coordinated with the urgent care for my initial treatment. He was determined to make sure that Marilyn and I both received much-needed emergency care. I am a pretty stubborn person, and fortunately, Marc was equally persistent in pushing us to be treated.
The Ford Plantation is truly a special place. Marilyn and I could have chosen anywhere to find a second home, but we are both grateful and fortunate that this is where we landed.
– Mike and Marilyn Anton