Special to the News-Record & Sentinel

Mr. Justus (Jud) Ammons a developer and owner of Springmoor Life Care Retirement in Raleigh saw what having a nice retirement community means in the lives of people from all walks of life. Through Springmoor they not only learned what is needed to change lives but why it is so personally important to have an opportunity to do so. Springmoor is an accredited nationally recognized continuing care retirement community with about 600 residents.

Mars Hill is the childhood home of Mr. Jud Ammons and is where he learned the importance of loyalty, honesty, independence and caring for one another. While growing up in the region, his family and friends instilled in him, to always be honest and do the right thing. He is grateful for his teachers like Miss Marietta Smith, his high school math teacher, who always demanded the best from her students and Dr. Otis Duck who made such a difference in his life. These bonds continue to be inspiration.

The Ammons’ family has deep roots with Mars Hill University as well. Mr. Ammons great great grandfather father Rev. John Ammons was the president of Mars Hill University during the Civil War. In fact Mr. Ammons himself has served as a trustee.

Mr. Ammons wanted to give back to the area something useful and meaningful. In the spring of 2000, he celebrated the opening of Mars Hill Retirement Community. His gift to Mars Hill and the surrounding area with special features and accommodations, those to this day are unique in the industry. The retirement community continues to enhance, the quality of life for all who become residents. He has provided opportunities, interaction and experiences for the residents, the town of Mars Hill, and Mars Hill University.

MHRC is located adjacent to the campus of the university facing the Main Street. The surroundings are beautiful and residents can enjoy all the amenities of both being in a small town and on campus. World renowned artist such as the Vienna Boys Choir and the Chinese Acrobats grace the stage at the Moor Auditorium every winter. The prestigious Appalachian Repertory Theatre provides us with world class plays. In the fall we enjoy the Heritage Festival and the Bascom Lamar Festivals, where bluegrass legends such as Josh Goforth, Appalachian Crafts, and the world champion Bailey Mountain Cloggers thrill the audience right outside our back door.

The retirement community offers 56 units. They range from studios to two bedrooms; named The Magnolia, The Laurel, The Dogwood and The Azalea all have private baths and kitchenettes.

Amenities abound! Elegant dining , state of the art security, nursing service, full maintenance and transportation, are but highlights of a long list of services A full time Activities Staff is on board with day trips to Gatlinburg, Cherokee, Asheville and Johnson City, Tenn. just to mention a few.

The residents input in menu planning, activities, day trips, and holiday celebrations, help ensure resident satisfaction. Informative venues are presented both inside the retirement community and on campus. The college provides the residents with classes, an Olympic size pool weight room, and the 200,000 volume Renfro Library which houses all the oral histories of Appalachia.

Personal service is the key ingredient in the success garnered throughout the years by the Ammons’ and their staff. “Our reputation is based on personnel care. We run our communities like we were the ones living there. The true keys to our success are the dedicated caring Certified Nursing Assistants and other staff members who provide daily care for our residents.” stated Mr. Ammons.MHRC offers six levels of care to assist our residents. A Registered nurse is available for consultation. Residents may choose to keep their own physicians or shall be seen by our local Doctor as needed.

Mr. Ammons said it best, “As Mars Hill continues to grow and reach other people, I sincerely hope the values, vision and excitement for life and responsibility we share for one another, will extend to generations beyond. I want my children and grandchildren to realize that we can all make a difference, and we have a responsibility to repay some of the blessings we have received from the mountains and people of Western North Carolina who taught us to care.