United States 19 July: Queens, New York City

Peace in Queens

Our first destination of the day was the Boys Club of New York in Flushing, Queens, New York City.

We were welcomed by some enthusiastic employees there including Ron Britt, one of the Directors there, and coincidentally an apropos painting of a runner with a torch.

Salil introduced the run to the enthusiastic group of boys who greeted us.

We had many countries represented today including Gints and Kaspars from Latvia.

Sanyogita made everyone smile as she tried to make us guess what state she was from.

We also become a choir of sorts when we offer Sri Chinmoy's Peace Run song to the group.

Cathy Oerter gave some of the boys an opportunity to read about peace and reflect on what it means to them.

This young man seemed very impressed by what he read.

We always offer a moment of silence and peace as we focus on the heart.

Gregory Fleury accepts our gifts for their participation in this very meaningful event today.

Sharing the torch as they get ready to run.

The boys had a chance to do a mini Peace Run outdoors after the ceremony.

We are very grateful for this wonderful group who welcomed us to the Boys Club today.

We then carried the Peace Torch to the Al Oerter Recreation Center about a mile away from the Boys Club in Queens. Ranjana and Cathy Oerter welcomed the runners at the Al Oerter display in the entrance of this beautiful athletic facility.

We met with a group of children there from the Kissena Day Camp.

Eric, the Kissena Day Camp counselor had to do 10 push ups for helping the children to guess our countries.

Paree was thrilled that some of the children guessed where she came from.

The World Harmony Run song offers the children and adults alike to do some creative actions while singing about peace and harmony.

Two of our guests today, Jim Wharton and Allison Wagner, inspired the children with their stories about the Olympics.

Jim, a physical therapist who has coached many athletes including Olympic and professional athletes, demonstrates some important stretches. Allison is a former Olympian swimmer who won the Silver medal in the 400 meter Individual Medley(I.M.) in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She was also the world record holder for that event in the 200 meter distance for almost 15 years.

The children focus on peace in the heart.

This young girl accepts our Certificate of Appreciation along with some paintings offered to the staff. The paintings are reproductitons of some of the atwork created by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run, representing Peace and World Harmony.

Ranjana offers Allison some gifts in appreciation for her participation today.

Our happy guests share the Peace Torch.

Finally everyone got to run with the Peace Torch.

A happy and peaceful group of peace lovers gather at the Al Oerter Center.

Allison and some of her new friends and swim fans.

We had a small celebration of Allison's Birthday as Cathy and Ranjana offer her a cake while we sang the birthday song. Cathy Oerter is the wife of the great Olympian Al Oerter who this athletic facility was named after. He won the Gold Medal for the discuss throw in four consecutive Olympics, each time setting a new world record. He also inspired many athletes to be creative and express themselves through various forms of art.