Make the McKenzie Connection!

Readers’ picks for the “Best of the River”

Man, Woman & Business of the Year













Readers who nominated Steve Schaefers cited his lifetime commitment as a volunteer and advocate for the McKenzie River.  That included all the hours he’s put in as a board member for the McKenzie Guides Association, river clean-ups, volunteering to guide and connect to children with disabilities, founding (with Dana Burwell) the life jacket program and, “Being the guide who is called most times to deal with hazards in the river – putting himself in harms way in doing so.”

Steve also has been a committed volunteer advisor for the McKenzie River Trust for major design improvements to the Finn Rock Boat Landing.

“I am sure the list goes on….Such a pleasure working alongside side Steve to care for the river we all rely on,” was part of a note about him that added,  “He does so much that goes unrecognized. It is such a pleasure to work alongside Steve to care for the River we all rely on.”

Other nominees for the 2018 Man of the Year included Lee Gire, Ray Blair, Mike Schaefers. Will Rutherford, Gordon Culbertson and Rick Wilson.


Marilyn Cross








Her long list of associations with local organizations made Marilyn Cross the choice for this year’s award.  She’s been an active volunteer in the McKenzie River Valley for many years. Some of the groups she’s worked with include the McKenzie ClearWater Coalition, McKenzie Community Development Corporation, the annual Chainsaw Festival, Ford Family Foundation, and the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce - as well as serving on many event planning committees along the McKenzie corridor.

“Marilyn keeps up on current events that involve the community, attends many monthly meetings, has written grants and is very knowledgeable about the needs of the community,” said one supporter. “She is a great asset to our community and we thank her.” Another added, “She seems to be at every event representing the McKenzie community’s efforts.  So dedicated!”

Also cited for their own civic contributions were Rita Stadel, Gerry Aster, Nadine Scott and Carol Tannenbaum.



Tokatee pic









The Tokatee Golf Club has gained a loyal following among not just golfers, but also area residents, particularly those who en-joy the facility’s annual fireworks celebrations.  

The owners, the Giustinas, were given high marks for maintaining,  “The beautiful 18-hole golf course throughout the years in pristine condition.”

“A friendly, helpful and responsible staff” was mentioned as well, along with, “Many changes over the years to attract both local players and tourists, which boosts our local economy.”

Tokatee has opened its grounds to many fund raising events over the years, including for the benefit for the McKenzie River Clinic. The course has also housed fire fighting crews and was chosen as the local stop for this year’s National Christmas Tree tour.  

Only one other business was nominated in this category this year - the Walterville Post Office - for its “Always friendly, helpful employees.”


McKenzie River Reflections


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