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Volunteer’s extraordinary actions recognized in extraordinary times

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Cherriots contractor awarded for his service

Congratulations to Randy Navalinski. Marion County honored him with the 2020 Rex Hartley Volunteer of the Year award.

“I was very surprised to receive this,” he said.

Randy NavalinskiRandy works for our mobility partner MTM and oversees the eligibility office in the Customer Service Department. But that’s the day job.

On Sept. 8, 2020, Security and Emergency Management Manager Karen Garcia received a call from someone at the Department of Human Services who was working overtime as part of the Marion County Emergency Operations Center. Randy and his team needed help with transportation. Elliott Residence, one part of Marian Estates in Sublimity, had a number of residents who needed help evacuating to safety from the raging wildfires. By early morning, all of the residents has been safely relocated to a temporary home in Clackamas. The MV drivers, the Cherriots staff, and Randy and his team were deemed heroes of the night.

Officially, Randy was recognized for his service with Emergency Management’s Mass Care team responding to the COVID-19 crisis and his leadership in the Incident Command Center for the wildfire evacuation center at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

Marion County commissioners said, “Randy put his personal and professional needs aside to serve the community when it was most needed.”

While some call him a hero and a lifesaver, Randy has a more humble view of his actions: volunteering comes down to ordinary people given extraordinary things to do in an extraordinary time.

The late Rex Hartley served as a county judge and commissioner for Marion County from 1951 to 1966. Judge Hartley was dedicated to involving citizens in the development of the county. The volunteer receiving the Judge Rex Hartley award is given an engraved award, and their name is added to the perpetual plaque displayed at Courthouse Square in downtown Salem.

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