Marana creates volunteer award to honor Ora Harn
Explorer file photo, Ora Mae Harn

Marana is creating the Ora Mae Harn Crystal Legacy Award, to be awarded annually to an outstanding community volunteer in the name of Harn, the town’s first woman mayor and a tireless public servant who died earlier this year.

“As we look at awards, the history of our community, and individuals who have really gone above and beyond, the one who stands out is Ora Mae Harn,” Town Manager Gilbert Davidson told the town council on Tuesday. “She dedicated her entire life to volunteerism.” The award is “a great way to recognize Ora.”

Town Clerk Jocelyn Bronson led the effort to create the award, which would be presented by the mayor at the annual State of the Town address. Projected recipients are individuals or businesses who “promote her commitment to the ideals of the town, and enhance its image through exemplary volunteer service.”

Representatives of community institutions and organizations would form the selection committee. Nominations for the 2011 award are being accepted through Feb. 22, 2011. Details are on the town’s website,

Last week, council members had some discussion over what the award itself should look like. A committee led by Bronson is suggesting a round crystal disc, the glass representing transparency, the circle suggestion inclusion, focus and unity, Bronson said. And it’s in the shape of an O, for Ora.

There was question as to whether an image of Harn should be etched onto the crystal. The proposed award, shown on the big screen in council chambers, included a picture of Harn from her later life, after she’d lost weight to cancer.

“I had some trouble with the image,” said Mayor Ed Honea, who knew Harn for decades before she was stricken, losing weight and her hair but keeping the smile. He described that smile as Harn’s “you’re going to do what I need you to do and you’re not going to get away with anything less” smile.

Town staff is going to revisit the image.

“You did a wonderful job,” Councilwoman Patti Comerford told Bronson and the committee.

Harn, the first inductee into the Marana Hall of Fame, died at the age of 77 on July 28.

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