Reader’s picks for the “Best of the River”
January 7, 2016
Jeff Dehne - Man of the Year
Nearly a winner in the past, the top vote getter for 2015 was Jeff Dehne of Walterville for his continued leadership of the annual Walterville Community Fair and for volunteering at projects and events throughout the McKenzie Valley area.
Besides serving as an officer of the Walterville Grange and riding herd on the Fair’s parade, Jeff seems to have “elbow grease” to spare. “I’ve seen him working on those community signs, building trails and setting up canopies and tables,” was noted by one of his supporters, who also said, “he never complains.”
Other nominees for Man of the Year included Jim Baker of Finn Rock and Kent Roberts of Rainbow.
Image: Jeff Dehne has volunteered at plenty of McKenzie Valley improvement projects, like the Blue River Park’s picnic table upgrades.
Carol Tannenbaum - Woman of the Year
Carol owns and operates McKenzie Lavender farm in Walterville, where she sponsors the Lavender Festival each year which brings visitors from all over. An avid volunteer in the McKenzie community, people recommended her for her continuing affiliation with the Family Ford Foundation, as treasurer of the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce and serving on the McKenzie Tourism Committee. Carol has a sweet smile for everyone and is always ready and willing to say “yes” I will help out when asked or needed.
Other nominees for Woman of the Year included June Carlson of Leaburg and Paula Herrick of Walterville.
Image: Lots of people have met Carol Tannenbaum in the fields of the McKenzie River Lavender Farm in Walterville.
River Stop Restaurant - Business of the Year
“We weren’t sure what to expect when Gena left,” read one of the submissions for the Business of the Year. That concern didn’t linger long when Heather Hernandez-Reja took over the reins at the former Aunt Ding’s Restaurant in the Walterville Shopping Center. People said they’ve been happy with both the quality of the food and the friendly staff.
“What gets me is she’s really part of the community,” said another note that thanked her for supporting fund raisers like the Walterville School’s benefit breakfast for Mona Saechao and for the Vida Cafe after it was damaged by fire.
Image: The kitchen is at the core of the River Stop Restaurant’s appeal to many, but its community support has gained local appreciation.
McKenzie River Reflections