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posted: 4/27/2010 12:01 AM

Peace rally at McHenry County College

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The McHenry County College Student Peace Action Network will host its last informational seminar of the semester on "When is a War Really Over?" featuring local Crystal Lake inventor Gary Christ. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 28 in Room A221 at McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

Gary Christ is working to make a better world. In February of 2001, he began volunteering his services by installing septic systems at orphanages in Cambodia. However, in 2004, a landmine was discovered at an orphanage he was asked to excavate. This dramatically changed his focus and he has been building demining prototypes ever since.

Every day Cambodians are killed, maimed and threatened by millions of landmines and tons of unexploded ordnance left over from Southeast Asia's many conflicts, wars and invasions occurring from 1965-98. Meeting dozens of Cambodians maimed by landmines, grieving the loss of a loved one or fearful of farming the land inspired Gary to revolutionize humanitarian demining methods for Cambodia's specific needs and realities. He calls his demining machine "Peacehammer", "wherever it hammers, there will be a peaceful place to walk."

This machine was successfully tested near Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2008. Educating people about the long term effects of warfare, as well as getting support for demining Cambodia, will be addressed in a new video format, known as Pecha-kucha.

The event is part of SPAN's Current American Issues Information Seminar Series. SPAN is made up of students promoting peace nationally and locally through action and education. The event is co-sponsored by the Future Engineers and Scientists Society, McHenry County Pax Christi, and the McHenry County Peace Coalition.

The event is free and open to the public. For information, contact the MCC Student Activities Office at (815) 455-8772.