Marston, SOU student receive Imagine awards

Dave Marston, John Cornet, Joan Jensen and Flamur Vehapi have been named recipients of the 2009 Imagine Awards for Community Peacemaking by the board of directors of Mediation Works.

Musical director Marston, who died in June, has been recognized posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Phoenix High School teacher Cornet and Eagle Point community volunteer Jensen have been named "honored peacemakers." Southern Oregon University student Vehapi was selected "young peacemaker."

The recipientswill be honored at a celebration at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at EdenVale Winery.

Dinner will be served, and musical entertainment will be provided by Laura Derocher, David Gabriel, the Grooveyard Trio and the Peace Choir ensemble.

Tickets should be purchased by Sept. 16. They are $50 per person and are available online at or by calling Chris at 770-2468, ext. 302.

Grady Singletary, publisher of the Mail Tribune and Daily Tidings, and Patsy Smullin, owner of California-Oregon Broadcasting, will serve as honorary co-chairs of the event.

The awards honor those who "actively and constructively advance peaceful conflict resolution in Jackson County."

An Albanian growing up in Kosovo, Vehapi was 15 when ethnic warfare ravaged his homeland and forced him and his family to flee to a refugee camp.

Since becoming an honor student at both Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University, he has given more than 100 public presentations sharing his life story and teaching religious tolerance.

Cornet developed a peer mediation program at Phoenix High School that involved a large and diverse population of students working in tandem with the high school administrative team to quell student tensions, resolve individual student conflicts and improve the overall climate of the school.

Jensen, a former high school teacher and now a rancher, has been involved in numerous community organizations, including the Pacific Northwest Natural History Museum, the Rogue Gallery and Art Center, Jackson County Vector Control, the D-9 Foundation of the Eagle Point School District, the Community Health Center and Mediation Works.

Marston, who directed the Rogue Valley Peace Choir and Children's Peace Choir, performed with groups as diverse as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Rogue Opera, the Marston Family Singers and a Beatles knockoff band, the "Nowhere Men."

He taught music to young preschoolers and Elderhostel students and directed choirs for Christian, Unitarian and Jewish groups as well as community choirs including the Siskiyou Singers. In 2006 he accompanied the Peace Choir to Hiroshima where they made history by being the first American group to sing at the Memorial.

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