|California Student Group Rallies to Support LSN
Ken Rutherford, co-founder of LSN, speaks to students at a high school in Corona del Mar, California, about his landmine accident and the still looming threat of landmines to civilians around the world.
On the morning of November 28, 2006, you could hear a pin drop as Dr. Ken Rutherford, Ph.D. — co-founder of Landmine Survivors Network — spoke to over 2,000 students and described the day that changed his life forever.
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In 1993, he was working for the International Rescue Committee in Somalia. His jeep slowed down to avoid a donkey and hit a landmine. He lost both of his legs in the incident and since that time has traveled the world promoting a landmine ban and raising awareness of the tremendous suffering caused by these weapons.
In his talk, he told the students how landmines have killed more people than chemical, nuclear and biological weapons combined. Ninety percent of landmine victims are civilians and many are children. Most of them die. Rutherford stressed that landmines are weapons designed to take off body parts, but keep the enemy alive.
There were artificial landmines scattered in the school plaza, and the gymnasium was covered with dozens of colorful signs with statistics about landmines such as: “ More than 30 different types of antipersonnel mines exist” and “Landmines can remain active for 50 years. Ones from WWII are still a threat.”
The events were sponsored by Club Anthro, a global awareness student group at Corona del Mar High School. Rutherford was introduced by Zan Margolis, a Corona del Mar high-school senior, who co-founded Club Anthro with Amanda Knuppel. Margolis spearheaded the day of activities that raised awareness about the danger of landmines and the power of survivorship. In addition, Club Anthro (in conjunction with Mozambique restaurant in Laguna Beach, Calif.), raised over $10,000 at a benefit for Landmine Survivors Network.
Zan Margolis’s parents, Jeff and Debbie Margolis, attended Fairview High School in Boulder, Colo., with Rutherford. During those years, Jeff Margolis and Rutherford played football together. In 2001, Zan’s parents brought her to a Fairview High School reunion where she met Rutherford who inspired her to take up the landmine cause.
According to Zan Margolis, “Club Anthro is a group of students who feel passionate about international and environmental issues. Since landmines kill and maim approximately 18,000 people each year, and 30-40% of the victims are women and children, this issue is on the top of our agenda.”