Oct. 10, 2022 Live from the road

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Reported by Salil Wilson 2.0 mi

On October 11, 2006, exactly one year before Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy's passing, there was a dedication to establish a Sri Chinmoy Street in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Present for the wonderful ceremony with Sri Chinmoy were (l - r) New York City Councilman Jimmy Gennaro, Assistant Commissioner of Queens Parks Estelle Cooper and Administrator of Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Commissioner of Queens Parks Dorothy Lewandowski.

On that day Sri Chinmoy commented, "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."

On October 10, 2022 we celebrated the 16th Anniversary this event.

A video of the event on October 10, 2022

Many children and hundreds of visitors present from around the globe first ran a short children's race followed by a two-mile run for adults.

Sanjay Rawal finished in 10 min 20 seconds.

Anupama stood first for the women.

Many athletes from the Jeuness track club participated.

Also we had runners from the Riverdale Children's theatre.

Becky Lillie Woods, Co-Founder of the Bronx Riverdale Children’s Theatre finished the 2 mile race.

As part of the program we presented the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award to 16 eminent New York City region luminaries from many walks of life who are helping foster the ideals of peace and oneness to which Sri Chinmoy devoted his life. Peace Run Executive Director Salil Wilson introduced the event, addressing the Torch-Bearer recipients: "When each one of you does something good, outstanding and transcendent, then all of us benefit."

Our Sri Chinmoy Choir performed two songs that Sri Chinmoy composed for the dedication which took place on October 11, 2006.

"Sri Chinmoy heart-garden
Sings oneness-joy-songs, hearken!"

"Sri Chinmoy Street, Sri Chinmoy Street!
Loves world-pilgrims’ hearts
And admires their feet."

We then had our guests participate in a symbolic walk along the Sri Chinmoy Peace Street.

Coach Jim Hurt, longtime Head Track & Field Coach, St. John’s University remembered fondly how Sri Chinmoy used to train on the St. Johns University track.

Quoting Sri Chinmoy, Ms. Ranjana Ghose, President of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, stated, "The world is a oneness-world-family, the family of humankind, and for that, what we always need is peace - peace for a greater oneness-world-family.

Bhitihara Fulton and Sanjay Rawal introduced our first Torch-Bearer recipient Anthony Sama, Administrator of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Our second recipient, Martha Taylor, Chairwoman, Community Board 8 of Queens recalled how she first became aware of Sri Chinmoy many years ago and congratulated everyone for their dedication and perseverance.

Queens Borough Park Commissioner Michael Dockett began with NYC Parks in 1984 and has held positions in all five boroughs. Now he oversees the 460 parks in Queens. He enjoys camping, singing in his church choir, plus serves as a Boy Scout Master.

Diane Dixon, Olympic Gold Medallist in 4x400m in Los Angeles in 1984 and also the gold medallist in the 1985 World Indoor Championships in Paris. Diane has a very big heart and has helped countless senior athletes find new career opportunities. We wished her a very, very Happy Birthday just a few days ago!

Zakia Haywood began last year serving the Armory as its new Director of College Track & Field and Special Projects. Besides being a middle and ultra-distance athlete in her own right, she has the unique capacity to make friends with new health and fitness clubs and organisations.

We also wish to presented a Torch-Bearer Award to the Armory Foundation. The Armory is known as the world's premier indoor track and field facility, hosting over 100 competitions annually, including the Millrose Games. The Armory Foundation hosts countless sports activities for New Yorkers of all ages.

After graduating law school and becoming a judge, Coach Jean Bell she founded the Jeuness Track Club for girls in Brooklyn aged 5-17 years 37 years ago. It gives them a way to excel at track and field plus pursue academic excellence. The girls regularly place high in major competitions, like the Colgate Games.

Devashishu Torpy, Director of the European Peace Run, introduced many of our Torch-Bearer Recipients.

Derek Woods and Becky Lillie Woods are Co-Founders of the Bronx Riverdale Children’s Theatre, a theatre program serving more than 400 children a year in The Bronx and Yonkers. They have been recognised as one of the 12 most amazing children theatre companies in America. Derek is an Emmy-nominated documentary producer and Becky is both an accomplished actress and musician.

We were delighted that six of their troupe graced us with a beautiful song entitled, "I have a voice!"

Judaline Cassidy is the founder of Tools & Tiaras, a unique organisation headquartered in Jamaica, Queens devoted to helping girls consider a career as an electrician, carpenter, plumber or auto mechanic. She is also a true visionary who provides the children with life-skills including meditation to help them unleash their “hidden warrior spirit.”

Coach Oliver Foote has been the coach of the Harlem Honeys and Bears synchonised swimming team for men and women since 1995. He keeps a very high standard for all of them. He says, “Some of my seniors sometimes they say, well, coach, you know we're 80 years old. I said you are as old as you feel because one of the words that I never want to hear on my team is I can't.”

We were delighted that members of the Harlem Honeys and Bears could join with us and share their boundless enthusiasm.

Coach John Trautman is the NYU men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams coach, and also co-Head Coach at Empire Elite Track Club. His entire philosophy is founded upon having each athlete discover and fulfil their own unique capacities.

Shelley Keeling is a sprinter who has won 2 Gold medals and 1 Bronze at the Euro-games. We met her first in 2019 when her delightful 104-year-old Mother and she were jointly honoured. Shelly is currently recruiting elite athletes for the Bangladesh 2023 Marathon.

Bishop Dr. Ebony Kirkland & Pastor Bruce Kirkland are the founders of the Living God Ministries Worldwide and headquartered in Queens Village. Dr. Ebony has expanded their international ministry to churches throughout Latin America and Africa and most recently has collaborated with other ministers to form the Universal Clergy Coalition (UNCC) in which she serves as Vice President. We were deeply grateful that Ebony and Bruce took our Peace Torch to Costa Rica a few years ago and enlisted the enthusiastic support and participation of over 500 children.

Top finishers in the two-mile race.

Thank you to all our guest for taking time to share your day with us.

Torch carried by
Abhijit Emery (Canada), Agraha Levine (United States), Anupama Widmer (Switzerland), Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Bashata Cimesa (Serbia), Bhashwar Hart (United States), Bishwas Polissar (United States), Brian Nelson (United States), Devashishu Torpy (Great Britain), Ekagra Prankl (Austria), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Lunthita Duthely (United States), Milan Javornický (Czech Republic), Nandita Polissar (United States), Nayak Polissar (United States), Nayana Tara-Hein (United States), Nilima Silver (United States), Padyatra Komak (Slovakia), Prachar Stegemann (Australia), Ranjana Ghose (United States), Sahadeva Torpy (Great Britain), Salil Wilson (Australia), Sanjay Rawal (India), Sanyogita Sisler (United States), Tanima Bossart (United States), Udayachal Šenkýř (Czech Republic), Vasanti Niemz (Germany), Vihan Hernandez (Guatemala), Vrishaketu Pelletier (Canada).  
Bhashwar Hart
The torch has travelled 2.0 mi in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

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