United States 17 May: Kansas City, MO - Iola, KS

Peace In Kansas

We are very grateful to the Best Western Seville Plaza Hotel in Kansas City for their offering of rooms for a good night's sleep. The staff there were very helpful and kind and the rooms were spacious and clean.

Tony Leverett, Director of United Way in San Antonio, Texas, was happy to meet us and share the torch. He also stayed at the hotel with some of his members of this organization. The United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. This is definitely an important contribution to world peace.

Our first stop this morning was the Bertram Caruthers Elementary School in Kansas City.

We were welcomed by many children lining the hallway with beautiful and creative signs they created on the theme of peace.

Hundreds of children filled the auditorium and took part in our presentation.

We had some very sweet and helpful volunteers to hold our official sign.

The teachers were also very receptive to our message and shared the torch with us to offer their goodwill.

Some of the teachers hold artwork offered by children from another school Jefferson City, Missouri.

Principal Molly Struzzo holds the Peace Torch with some of the children who were very happy after a wonderful ceremony.

Salil offers the torch to some of the children who all seem serious about making a wish for peace.

Vivian Strickland, a foster Grandmother from the Catholic Charities, accepts one of Sri Chinmoy's paintings representing World Harmony. Our Certificate of Appreciation was also offered to the school for their enthusiastic participation.

Librarian Mary Jo Leon wore an appropriate shirt today as she holds her peace dove and our official brochure.

Our men's team with Principal Struzzo and Librarian Leon and a handful of beautiful artwork from the children.

Atul from India finds a spot for the peace dove on Pierre from France who is loaded down with the wonderful offerings from the Caruthers school.

The women's team was running in the rain to the next location in the morning as they made their way through Ottawa, Kansas.

Preparing the torch for another wet run.

Will it stay lit in the windy and cold rain?

Zuzana from the Czech Republic enjoys her run past miles of green meadows and farmland.

Tavishi was happy to run today even though the weather was a bit challenging. Keeping the torch lit was a challenge today.

John Hawks from the Ottawa Herald newspaper is happy to find the women runners as they pass through his town. He even got to hold the torch and offer his goodwill. We are so grateful when the media comes out to share our story with the public.

Finally the rain started clearing up.

The 'headless' runner carries a torch to the next school.

Zuzana and Akbota on their way to the Garnett school.

Here comes our trusty camper van or motorhome which we refer to as the R.V. or 'Recreational Vehicle'. Our lunch is on the way.

Some of the students met us outside to run into the Garnett Elementary school with the torch.

Luckliy we had some volunteers to help us with our banner.

It was a big crowd of hundreds of students who were quite attentive.

Feeling peace in the heart.

Arpan imitates the Statue of Liberty to get the children to guess which state he is from.

Many children were able to guess that one. We have 11 runners right now from 8 different countries and the children get to guess with clues to help them.

We have four runners from the country where Kangaroos are plentiful.

Puroga from Hungary usually has to ask the children what they feel like if they miss eating breakfast or lunch.

Teaching the children our World Harmony Run song by Sri Chinmoy.

Even the teachers happily participated in our song with the actions included.

Physical Education Teacher Megan accepts our Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of this very dynamic school. We are very grateful to the teachers who help us make these ceremonies possible.

Accepting a colorful print of a painting on the theme of peace by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.

The teachers run a lap for peace around the auditorium before going outside with the children.

High fives for the teachers.

The children come out to run a long loop for peace on the school grounds.

Leading the 'peace train'.

Most of the teachers also ran the very long trail around the school. It was about half a mile long and all the runners seemed to be fit and ready to run for peace.

Even the younger children were able to cover the long distance.

The teachers and students alike were quite fit and happy to run.

Looks like sisters for peace.

This beautiful campus was a perfect setting for a peace run.

At the end of their long run the children were able to hold the torch and wish for peace.

This young man fell on the way but bravely and happily finished his peace run.

After the wonderful school event Atul takes off for some long miles as the dark sky threatened some more rain but luckily held up for the rest of the day.

Pierre hands the torch to Arpan to help finish the last run of the day.

Arpan enjoys a very green run today through central Kansas.

Upon reaching Chanute where we stayed for the night, I was able to visit an old friend, Don Neely, who has worked on our vehicles on many occasions in the past as we came to Chanute. He still had our brochure on hand from two years ago when we visited here with some car battery trouble.

At a nearby restaurant in Chanute called 'Catty Shack' we met some very nice locals who were happy to share the torch with us like the Gahagan family.

One of the very kind waitresses, Adriana, offers a peaceful smile as she holds the torch.

Our waitress Sky, shares the torch with the owner and one of the excellent cooks, Carolyn, who with her husband Roger generously offered us delicious food for our whole team in Chanute. Roger was so busy in the kitchen he could not come out to hold the torch. Thank you for the wonderful food and friendly service tonight.

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