Oct. 12, 2021 Live from the road

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Reported by Salil Wilson 2.0 mi

Today we celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the Dedication of Sri Chinmoy Street and Sri Chinmoy Heart-Garden in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens. The dedication took place on October 11, 2006 exactly one year before Sri Chinmoy passed. We began with the annual Two-Mile Race.

Sanjay Rawal stood first in the men's division.

Boijayanti Gomez-Badillo stood first in the women's division.

Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Executive Director welcomed the guests and served as MC.

Imam Askia Muhammad, President of the UMMAH GROUP, INC, offered an opening prayer.

Agraha worked very hard to bring many of our guests together for this program. He read an excerpt of Sri Chinmoy's speech from October 11, 2006.

"You have blessingfully honoured me today by giving the name of the street in my honour. For that I am extremely, extremely grateful to you. But I am having a new experience here. I feel in all sincerity that you have given me the supreme task of lovingly and prayerfully welcoming people who pass every day here. You have given me the opportunity to be a guard on your behalf to welcome them and offer them my and your—our—loving gratitude."

"Every day during my prayers I shall inwardly see and feel that a most beautiful flower is being offered at the feet of this Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. This place, this beautiful place, has also a most beautiful and powerful, powerful soul. During my prayers, my morning prayers, I shall offer a beautiful flower at the feet of the soul that here presides over the park."

Our choir sang two songs Sri Chinmoy had written in honour of the Sri Chinmoy Street and Heart Garden.

We then symbolically walked the Sri Chinmoy Peace Street.

Sanjay Rawal, member of the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, spoke about the Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

We were deeply honoured to present a number of Peace Run Torch-Bearer awards to our guests. Our first recipient was Janice Melnick, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Administrator. Bhitihara-Martha Fulton, who serves as Chairperson of the Parks Committee of Community Board 8, invited and introduced Janice Melnick. Janice has served in her current role since 2012 and began with NYC Parks in 2003. Her welcoming and open management style ensures Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a valuable and accessible park for all who choose to use it.

Sri Chinmoy Centre President, Ranjana Ghose, presented the medal to Janice.

Our next recipient was Juan Liu. She was Member of 2020 US Olympic Table Tennis Team, 2018 US Women's Singles Champion, 2018 US Women's Doubles Champion and 2012 US Open Women’s Single Champion.

Rupantar La Russo, Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Captain, introduced our dear friend, Richard Murphy, former Queens Borough Parks & Recreation’s Commissioner and currently serving as a Commissioner of the Nassau County Parks.

Long-time City Councilman and dear friend of the Sri Chinmoy Centre Jimmy Gennaro, joined us to share his inspiration.

Sheryl Keeling is a competitive Master’s Athlete who won 2 Golds and 1 Bronze at recent Euro-games. She received the Torch-Bearer Award with her 104 year old mother Ida Keeling in 2019!

We congratulated Imam Askia Muhammad, who serves as President of the UMMAH GROUP, INC., an organization dedicated to interfaith dialogue and spiritual development.

President of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, Ranjana Ghose, introduced Coach Jim Hurt, longtime Head Track & Field Coach at St. John’s University and friend of Sri Chinmoy.

Finally Bhashwar introduced Elliott Denman. A racewalker par excellence who did extremely well in the 50k walk at the Melbourne Olympics and won both the 3k and 50k nationals in 1959. He has also racewalked the NYC Marathon 33 times!

Rupantar finished the program by presenting the 2 mile race awards to the top three competitors for men and women.

Torch carried by
Agraha Levine (US), Arpan DeAngelo (US), Ashirvad Zaiantchick (BR), Bashata Cimesa (RS), Brahmata Michael (CA), Brian Nelson (US), Dhanu Alaimo (US), Harikanta Ketova (RU), Jagadhata Amrhien (US), Lunthita Duthely (US), Mahiyan Savage (US), Nayana Tara-Hein (US), Nilima Silver (US), Padyatra Komak (SK), Pranjal Milovník (SK), Pulak Viscardi (US), Rupasi Young (US), Salil Wilson (AU), Sarita Earp (CA), Sharika Xavier (CV), Shashanka Karlen (CH), Sweta Pradhan (NP), Tanima Bossart (US), Tihomir Cundic (HR), Varunavi Klabníková (SK), Vihan Hernandez (GT).  
Photographers
Bhashwar Hart
The torch has travelled 2.0 mi in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

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