Clearing the Path Gala
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 | Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Washington D.C.
Thank you for joining us for the 25th Anniversary Clearing the Path Gala!
It is thanks to you, our sponsors, partners, donors, board, and volunteers,
that MLI has continued our lifesaving humanitarian work year after year.
Thank you for celebrating with us on this momentous evening.
Thank You for the Memories!
This year's Gala featured amazing honorees, presenters,
performers, speakers, and a silent auction:
The Honorable Sherri Goodman
MLI Executive Director
Major General (Ret.) Robert (Bo) Dyess
W. Travis Morris
Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim
Voice of God
The Georgetown Phantoms
Key Note Speaker:
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins
U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
The 2022 Gala Silent Auction Presented Artwork by
Azerbaijani Artist Abol Bahadori and a Yemeni Bazaar:
Bahadori has kindly donated his majestic artwork; all proceeds from art sales will go toward the sponsorship of a mine detection dog in Azerbaijan.
View the art pieces in the Azerbaijani Art Store.
Landmine survivors in Yemen have handmade clothing, purses, jewelry, and more.
All proceeds from the sale of Yemeni items will go to the women who made them.
View these handmade treasures in the Yemeni Bazaar.
Items may be purchased at the Azerbaijani Art Store and the Yemeni Bazaar Online Store:
Thank you to our
25th Anniversary Gala Sponsors:
MDD Team of the Year: Tori and Karimov Goshgar Yashar
The 2022 Mine Detection Dog (MDD) Team of the Year Award honors a very special team from Azerbaijan. Working with the Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ANAMA), Karimov Goshgar Yashar is a dog handler partnered with ANAMA sponsored, MDD Tori. Goshgar and Tori have worked together since 2019, searching and clearing a total of 205 952 sqm of land in the last three years.
In addition to finding him an excellent partner, Goshgar credits Tori with saving his life. One day on a break, Goshgar wandered into a seemingly safe area for lunch. Although he wasn’t working, Tori raised the alert, halting Goshgar just in time before he stepped on a hidden landmine. Goshgar is forever thankful to his four-legged friend, declaring that, “it is our duty to love and protect dogs and all animals.”
CHAMPS Student Award: Josef Marschall
Josef Marshall is the first young person to participate in all three MLI educational programs, the Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS), Peace Through Sport, and the Peace Makers and Problem Solver Program (PMPS). After choosing to dedicate his four years of high school toward sponsoring a mine detection dog,
Josef successfully completed his campaign in March 2022.
Josef is honored is honored as the recipient of the 2022 CHAMPS student award, for his valiant efforts to make the world a safer place. He serves as a prime example of the impact a young person can make on their local and global communities. Following his graduation, Josef joined the United States Coast Guard Class of 2026 and is well on his way to continue in his path toward leadership and positive impact.
Teacher of the Year Award: Shannon Shaw
Shannon Shaw is a dedicated educator at Shepard Pratt in Baltimore, MD. She embraced the opportunity for her students to participate in MLI’s Peace Through Sport virtual exchange program, to help them develop communication skills, respect for diversity, and problem-solving techniques through the lens of sport.
Thanks to her care and dedication for her students, Shaw was chosen for the Teacher of the Year Award. Her hard work has provided an under-served group of young people with the opportunity to have a positive impact on their community and form connections with students from different backgrounds and cultures. Ms. Shaw’s efforts are equipping her students with the skills they need to become agents for positive change.
“Survivor of the Year” Nominee (Yemen)
Wardah Mohammed Saeed
Growing up in one of the most mine-contaminated villages in Yemen, Wardah was injured by a landmine explosion in 1995 while helping her mother collect water. Reflecting on 18 years of living with the mine-impacted disability, Wardah said “the first year was the worst in my life, especially as a girl…it meant my life was finished. I was thinking that death would be more merciful to me, but my feelings have been changed, year by year, and now I feel that I can do something for my family, myself, and for other people.”
Today, Wardah works at the Yemen Association for Landmine Survivors (YALS) as a Social Affairs Officer. She was nominated for the “Survivor of the Year” Award thanks to her over 10 years of service helping Yemeni survivors by scheduling their prosthetics, supervising vocational training courses, and helping them attain employment. Wardah also helps implement Mine Risks Education (MRE) with the YALS MRE Team.