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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 10, 2004

Night Of 1,000 Dinners Nov. 18 Raises Funds To Eliminate Landmines

A person is killed or maimed by a landmine explosion approximately every 27 minutes somewhere in the world. On Thursday, Nov. 18, Iowans will have an opportunity to help do something about this tragedy.

More than 20 sponsoring organizations invite the public to the fourth annual Night of 1,000 Dinners at Old Brick, 20 East Market St. in Iowa City, from 6 to 9 p.m. to help raise funds to eradicate landmines. Suggested donation is $15 per adult and $7 per student, low-income adult or child.

People are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance by calling Katy Hansen or Nittaya P. Burnham at the Iowa United Nations Association at 319-337-7290 or Diana Davies with International Programs at 319-335-0371.

The Night of 1,000 Dinners is a global event where caring citizens come together to dine and raise awareness and resources for the United Nations Association-USA's Adopt-A-Minefield program, Hansen said.  The event at Old Brick will be one of thousands taking place around the world in November to raise funds for United Nations agencies that are all addressing different aspects of the global landmine crisis -- from mine clearance to survivor assistance to advocacy work.

"With between 40 and 50 million landmines buried globally, we can't afford to ignore this issue," said Hansen, who is the director of Iowa UNA. "Although the people in these countries -- Vietnam, Angola, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe -- seem very far away, the Night of 1,000 Dinners is a local and delicious way to help change their lives."

Recent fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has brought renewed attention to the landmine issue, Hansen said. American troops face what many ordinary Afghans and Iraqis have faced for decades: the fear of encountering one of the millions of landmines or unexploded ordnance hidden in the ground. Every year, approximately 15,000 to 20,000 people are killed or maimed by landmines; 30 to 40 percent of mine victims are children. There are currently 70 million active landmines buried in the ground in more than 90 countries.

This year's local Night of 1,000 Dinners is being sponsored by the following: Iowa United Nations Association, Women's Resource and Action Center, The University of Iowa International Programs, Thai Flavors, Global Issues Network, the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC), Iowa City Federation of Labor, Iowa City Human Rights Commission, Iowa Sister States, Students Against Sweatshops, Johnson County United Nations Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Resources for Life.Com, UI Women in Science and Engineering, UI Center for Human Rights, Iowa Peace Corps Association, The Stanley Foundation, Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, Rex Honey, Iowans for Peace, Linn County United Nations Association, New Pioneer Co-Op, Hawkeye Foodservice, and UI Student United Nations.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this event, contact Nittaya Burnham, Iowa United Nations Association at 319-337-7290 or info@unaiowa.org.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; International Programs: Diana Davies, 319-335-0371