Sisters Dawn and DeAnn Serve Aces in Their Journey to the Carolina Mountains

At The Cliffs, our members aren’t just a community; they’re a family bound by a shared love for adventure and the embrace of nature’s beauty. Among our vibrant members, some have a connection that runs deeper than golf partners or climbing buddies—they are siblings, united by blood and a shared zeal for exploration. As National Sibling’s Day dawns, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on sisters Dawn and DeAnn at The Cliffs at Mountain Park. Get to know this dynamic sibling duo below with words from DeAnn.


What inspired you and your sibling to both choose South Carolina as your home, specifically within The Cliffs? Who discovered the community first, or did you decide to move together?
    • We purchased a vacation house in 2007 at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls. We had years of family visiting. Dawn and Bill especially loved visiting the lake house and The Cliffs when everyone was still working. Then, Dawn, Bill, and Jeff started planning their retirement together. Fast forward a decade or so, and we were all retired and landed at Mountain Park together. It was on May 31, 2020. It was the best celebration. 


Did you ever imagine that you and your sibling would end up living in the same community as adults?
    • When we went to Wake Forest University together and moved around in similar groups in those younger years, we were in the same sorority, and I wore all Dawn’s clothes. Don’t ask her about that! We met our husbands, Bill and Jeff, at Wake Forest. Bill and Dawn moved to his hometown of Greensburg, PA, for 36 years. Dawn and I always hoped we could end up back together. She is a Carolina girl at heart. Our family of origin is from Raleigh, NC. Our mother, younger sister, and brother are still in Raleigh with their families. 


How does living in a private golf community contribute to your sibling relationship? Are there any sibling rivalries on the golf course? Or at the wellness center?
    • Our father was very athletic and competitive; we were used to that growing up. Dawn and I mostly played different sports growing up. She played tennis and was a swimmer. And I was more into gymnastics and dance. But I got more into tennis when we arrived at The Cliffs.  In the beginning, we especially entertained our tennis friends with some bickering. But we have evened out to have more of a “pull for each other” to keep improving, which is wonderful. 


Can you share a memorable experience you’ve had with your sibling since moving to The Cliffs? And one from childhood?
    • A favorite memory from here is getting to play in the tennis championships together. We have both dreamed of getting to play leisure tennis in our retirement. Adri, the director of racquet sports in our region, and Rebecca, one of the racquet sports pros, have helped both our games and brought the love of tennis to many of us. 
    • Growing up, our most special memories are around excellent family time. One particular memory is when we were both working as lifeguards, just a short walk from our house, at the neighborhood pool. After working all day, our mother would deliver a feast of chicken or pork chop with three plus veggies on a plate covered with foil that she had lovingly prepared for us. As we got older and ate peanut butter and ramen noodles in college, we understood–even more–that special gift our mom made for us throughout the years. 


Have you noticed any differences in your lifestyles or interests now that you both live in the same place?
    • We both like an active lifestyle and have always enjoyed sports. Dawn has embraced golf more, and I promise to try it, but I can’t get off the tennis court. We both love tennis and enjoy playing together. Our styles of tennis complement each other. We have enjoyed the weight room together as well. 


What do you appreciate most about having your sibling nearby at this stage of your life?
    • I enjoy having this companion nearby who has lived every stage of life with me. I don’t remember life without Dawn. We are just two years apart. So, at every life stage, we have been together. We have a commonality that I have with no other. It is a special gift to continue that bond. We can hit heads, but we know words and frustrations do not separate us. We can hurt each other’s feelings, especially when living closer together,  so that has been a new navigation. But we are still learning about each other and growing together. 


How has living at The Cliffs strengthened your relationship with your sibling and your respective spouses?
    • As I mentioned, our spouses have also known each other since college. We had an awesome opportunity to live together for 15 months while Dawn and Bill built their retirement home at Mountain Park. That is a remarkable memory of retiring together. The guys play a lot of golf together. I love that we can simply call and say what we have in the refrigerator and, a few moments later, just join together for meals. 


Does your extended family have any traditions or rituals here at The Cliffs?
    • Our sibling’s families and our mom come to visit often. Because we live so close, we can share their visits and adventures. A tradition is “Thanksgiving at the Ruffner’s,” which we had when they were in Pennsylvania and has continued here. We also enjoy lake visits together with our family. Our family takes an annual beach trip for a week that has grown to include spouses, significant others, and grandchildren. This beach trip has continued since childhood. We would love to get our other two siblings here with our mom. For now, we just enjoy visits. 


What role does your shared love for the area/region/The Cliffs play in your bond as siblings?
    • This community has allowed our dreams of living close to one another in a magical place to come to fruition. We both feel gratitude for landing here together and sharing this magical place with each other. 


To create a future of cherished memories with your sibling, we invite you both to start your property search online and discover the many options available to call home. Feel free to schedule an in-person visit and discover The Cliffs for yourselves!

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