Март 3, 2024 Live from the road

Orlando - Oviedo

Reported by Brahmata Michael 7.0 mi

The 2024 Peace Run in Florida was officially kicked off with a refreshing 7-mile relay in the rain!

The team is extremely happy to be here in Florida! We are looking forward to a wonderful week of events: meeting with people of all ages and all walks of life, planting Peace Trees and passing the Peace Torch all around the state.

Art Woodruff, Mayor of Sanford, was kind enough to brave the rain and meet the team (and on a Sunday morning, no less!)

We gathered at the Sri Chinmoy Peace Tree that was dedicated here over a decade ago, in 2013. We were delighted to find it still thriving.

Mayor Woodruff read out a proclamation, declaring March 3rd as "Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Day" in Sanford.

He then shared with us some of his insights from his work as a school teacher; "A lot of times it's just a matter of listening to someone or letting them tell you how they feel. I think that we as a society have become much more about talking than listening. So anything we do to help bring peace to other people and to bring peace to ourselves, because we've got to take care of ourselves too, is very important."

To finish, we shared the Peace Run song with him.

We continued on our way.

We ran past another Peace Tree in Sanford that had been planted previously on the grounds of Jeff Triplett Community Centre.

The sun came out and we were joined by our new friend, Debbie! She enthusiastically covered a few miles with the team.

The team members carried their country flags as we ran into the city of Lake Mary.

Arriving at City Hall.

Here we visited another Peace Tree, dedicated in the year 2012 by Lake Mary Mayor, David Mealor.

Debbie took one last selfie with the Peace Tree before we parted ways.

In the City of Oviedo, we were greeted by the bright, beaming face of Mayor Megan Sladek! She took the torch and we all did a lap around Solary Park.

City Council Member Keith Britton joined us and offered his kind support as well.

The lovely Solary Park, with its meandering creek, lush vegetation and local wildlife, is home to our newest Peace Tree: a magnolia, inaugurated by Mayor Sladek, Councilman Britton and the team today.

No ceremony is complete without music! We sang three songs for Mayor Sladek and Councilman Britton.

Santiva, our Peace Run coordinator here in Florida, said a few words about Oviedo and Mayor Sladek's hands-on contributions to the city.

Mayor Sladek was presented with the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award. A truly deserving recipient as she spends countless hours offering her service and genuine concern to her community.

We presented her with an art print by Sri Chinmoy, the Peace Run founder. It is entitled "Peace Blossoms in the Heart of Goodness"; which we thought to be a fitting message for Mayor Sladek and the warm, friendly people of Oviedo. She told us that she will be placing it in the council chambers.

Enough talking, it was now time for some action! Mayor Sladek enthusiastically took out some buckets and bags and led us in a community trash pick-up around the outskirts of Solary Park.

While doing our trash collection, we met some local friends that we may not have seen otherwise. We were honoured to be able to make a small contribution to making their home a little bit cleaner.

Banshidhar, our team member from Hawaii was feeling triumphant after filling a bag!

We found a local spot that makes delicious handmade ice cream, how could we resist? As the sign says; "Ice cream solves everything"

We celebrated Santiva's birthday and offered her our gratitude for volunteering her time to organize this week of events in Florida and also for hosting the entire team.

We celebrated Banshidhar's birthday with a homemade banana cream pie. Both Banshidhar and Santiva, along with her husband, Dave, have been "Peace Running" since the very beginning, starting in 1987!

Torch carried by
Alakananda Lebedev (United States), Antana Locs (Canada), Banshidhar Medeiros (United States), Brahmata Michael (Canada), David Morrison (United States), David Morrison Snr. (United States), Marina Pak (Russia), Santiva Morrison (United States).  
Alakananda Lebedev, Brahmata Michael
The torch has travelled 7.0 mi from Orlando to Oviedo.

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