The Marshall Legacy Institute hosted the 2004 Clearing the Path Gala at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Washington DC on January 28, 2004. The event was held to honor the participants and the donors who contributed generously to the efforts of MLI to rid the world of the landmines. MLI has been in the forefront of endeavors executed to provide local handlers and leaders to insure the effective integration of the dog teams in the national mine clearance programs of Armenia, Eritrea and Thailand. MLI's latest project, the first ever "six-pack" of dogs for Sri Lanka was an unprecedented success. In September 2003, MLI launched the Children Against Landmines Program (CHAMPS), in Wyoming under the stewardship of Mrs Diana Enzi, wife of Sen Michael E. Enzi (Rep-WY).The response in Wyoming has been remarkable, with tens of thousands of school children donating quarters to sponsor a dog named Wyoming to Sri Lanka. The six pack of dogs are due to arrive in Colombo in March this year. The delegation from Wyoming comprised of Ms Margaret Cosner (representing the schools of Wyoming)and Mr Cameron Durbin (representing the school children of Wyoming). The Gala was well attended by a large number of VIPs including Senators Chuck Hagel and Patrick Leahy (Honorary Co-Chairs of MLI) and Rep Frank Pallone (Co-Chair of the Sri Lanka Caucus) , the US Department of State, the Humane Society of the United States, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Mr and Mrs Nihal Gunawardena from the Sri Lanka Association of Washington DC and from the corporate sector. The Humane Society of the United States made a pledge to continue and increase its support to this worthy endeavor. Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe (International Co-Chair of MLI), Mrs Helga Wurzer-Subasinghe (Member, Steering Committee), Defence Attaché Brigadier Rohan Jayasinghe and Mrs Shereen Jayasinghe were among the distinguished guests. The Master of Ceremonies was George Stephanopoulos (host of NBC News "This Week") and the Duke Ellington School Show Choir provided the entertainment.

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Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

27 February 2004



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