United States 10 March: Clearwater, Florida - Dunedin, Florida

Celebrating Peace in the Tampa Bay Area

Celise 'CJ' Jones, the Family and Community liason for the Eisenhower School helped to organize this event for us with Tilvila(left), our local Tampa area Coordinator.

Hundreds of enthusiastic children and teachers greeted us with thunderous applause.

George N. Cretekos, Mayor of Clearwater, also came to greet us and offer his kind and thoughtful words about peace in the schools and local communities.

The children were very attentive and seemed to enjoy the whole program implemented by their teachers and students as well as our runners.

Singing along with the actions to our World Harmony Run song written by Sri Chinmoy in 2005.

Tilvila, our local Coordinator, offers her introductions to our team. She worked tirelessly for months to organize these events with the schools in Clearwater and Dunnedin.

Our Team Captain, Harita from New Zealand, finds a student who figured out what country she is from. The students had to guess all of our countries or cities for us to sing a song for them.

Banshidhar, with the help of the students and teachers, offers his presentation of the famous Hula from Hawaii in front of the huge peace painting created by the school children and their teachers.

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Some of the children who received Peace Run Torch-Bearer Awards for their selflessness and kind and helpful actions in the school and in the community.

Art Teacher, Michelle Emory proudly explains the beautiful, large artwork created by her and the children, called 'Pandas 4 Peace'.

Michelle presents Tilvila with a small print of this wonderful work of art.

As with all of the teachers and staff, Michelle was very enthusiastic about our event here. Some of the art work will be submitted to the 'Colors of Peace' display at the iconic Colosseum in Rome, Italy this September for the International Day of Peace. ,

Honorary Peace Runners happily hold the banner aloft.

After the program we organized a small Peace Run around the field nearby. Some of the children were selected to run with the Peace Torch as the others cheered them on.

Afterwards, the children had an opportunity to make wishes for peace as they exited past the Torch.

That's the spirit!

A visitor from the sky took some interest in our event down below.

Phinley the shark gives his thumbs(fins)-up for an enjoyable event at his school today. No one was eaten as a result.

Phinley joins us as he holds the Torch aloft while we align ourselves into a huge peace sign.

Hundreds of people form an impressive human peace sign .

We are very grateful to the Eisenhower School for such a great program. Assistant Principal Christen Ku joins us as Principal Antonette Wilson and Mayor George Cretekos share the Peace Torch.

Mother and baby Manatee hold the Peace Torch as they welcome us to the McMullen Booth Elementary School in Clearwater, Florida. Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. A survey in early 2019 estimated at least 5,700 living in Florida waters.

After leaving Eisenhower School our team ran into the McMullen Booth Elementary School as we were greeted by hundreds of excited children and staff.

Vajra from New York holds the Torch aloft trying to get the children to guess what city we are both from. The children had no problem guessing New York and the Statue of Libery.

Savadhan and Tilvila from nearby Safety Harbor were very instrumental in making these wonderful ceremonies happen successfully.

Dave Morrison from Lake Mary in the Orlando area of Florida gave some easy clues for the children to guess his city.

Dan had a harder time to get children to guess that he is originally a 'Hoosier' from Indiana.

The enthusiastic participation by the children is always very uplifting for us.

We offered our usual skits to demonstrate peaceful or non-peaceful behaviors for the children to recognize and judge.

Brahmata from Canada took lots of great video footage which we will soon enjoy here and on Vimeo.

The students who received the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Awards proudly hold our banner and Torch aloft. We are so grateful to them and all the students for their kind actions and enthusiastic participation.

School Counselor Stacy Fish offers her bright smile as she proudly holds the Peace Torch aloft.

Principal Susan Manche receives our Certificate of Appreciation as the children hold a colorful peace painting by the Peace Run Founder, Sri Chinmoy.

Some of the children made their wishes for peace as they left the school playground.

School Counselor Stacy Fish, Principal Susan Manche, and Assistant Principal Jacque Pool share the Torch together. We are very grateful to them for their cheerful and enthusiastic efforts in implementing the program which was so successful and enjoyable for us and for the children today.

Two great friends as part of our Florida connection, Nancy and Santiva, enjoying the events here in Clearwater.

Beautiful and colorful peace pinwheels made by the children and teachers in this creative school.

For lunch we were so kindly treated by 'Sweet Tomatoes', a high quality salad buffet restaurant. The generous and friendly Manager, Eric, holds the Peace Torch and Certificate of Appreciation he so rightly deserves. Thank you for the delicious food that kept us going all day.

Our final school of the day in nearby Dunedin was the San Jose Elementary.

Our events were outdoors under a huge pavilion protecting everyone from the hot sun on this typical Florida afternoon.

Beautiful artwork was displayed by the children including peace doves they made in their art classes.

The children guessed our runners' countries of origin and pointed to the locations on our huge map.

A geography lesson for all.

Behind the scenes, 'lifting up the world'.

Banshidhar teaches the children a traditional Hawaiin dance, the Hula, demonstrating the undulating ocean waves and the majestic coconut trees swaying in the wind.

A very long and colorful peace chain made by the children decorated the top of the pavilion.

Hundreds of children joined our team in singing one of our theme songs with the actions.

Finding peace in the heart is always a great way to have a minute of powerful silence with the children.

Lots of smiles during and after the exciting and peaceful activities.

Tilvila, our local coordinator who has done a tremendous job organizing these events, offers a beautiful peace painting by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run. Principal Lisa Brown cheerfully accepts the paintng on behalf of the school.

Some of the children displayed their beautiful artwork on the theme of peace.

Finally the children went for a short peace run around the playground with some of the Peace Runners.

What a great way to spend part of a beautiful day with the children just before they are dismissed from school.

Two students with their school Principal Lisa Brown after having both received the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Awards for their exemplary behavior and contributions to their school and community.

As we were leaving our last school some of the children and staff wanted their photos taken with us and the Peace Torch.We are very grateful to Dana Ziecheck(middle), the School Family & Community Liaison. She facilitated the school participation with the Peace Run in a big way.

Gratitude to all the parents as well as the teachers and staff who made these events possible.