Steamboat resident wants Amnesty International chapter
Tonight’s informational meeting to gauge community interest
July 13, 2010
Redstone — Larry Haines wants Steamboat Springs residents to think beyond the mountain paradise they live in. Thousands of miles beyond.
Haines, a member of Colorado Mountain College's Amnesty International program, thinks Steamboat is a perfect place to start another Amnesty chapter dedicated to fighting for human rights overseas.
"This is a place where people have a really strong social conscience," he said. "This is an activist type of community."
Haines has organized an informational meeting that is open to the public, at 6 p.m. today at Bud Werner Memorial Library, to gauge the level of community interest in a new chapter for Steamboat. He hopes to carry over some of the programs from the Amnesty chapter at CMC, including letter-writing campaigns for prisoners overseas and educational videos. The chapter at CMC's Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs primarily involves students. Haines wants to bring Amnesty to a larger group.
"Based on the feedback we got from attendees at the CMC events, it seemed like there might be some other people in Steamboat who are interested in joining Amnesty and protecting human rights," he said.
Haines was inspired to start a new chapter after he attended an Amnesty conference in the fall in San Francisco.
CMC Amnesty International faculty sponsor Bob Gumbrecht thinks Haines, a student at CMC, is the perfect person to start the Steamboat chapter.
"Haines is very motivated to do this and extremely interested in the subject," Gumbrecht said. "He understands how the organization works, and he'd be a very good leader for a local group."
Gumbrecht recognizes that starting and finding new members for the new group could take some time.
"The biggest challenge at first is getting the word out so people know the opportunity is there," he said. "You first need to get a core group going. Money is the second-most challenging part. You don't need a lot to do events with Amnesty, but you do need a little."
Haines and Gumbrecht share a common goal of promoting global awareness in Steamboat. They hope that enough community members get involved to make a difference.
"What happens across the globe does affect our world," Gumbrecht said.