Abr. 27, 2024 Live from the road

Charlottesville, VA - Buckingham, VA

Reported by Rupasi Young 40.0 mi

Before any events, we go for a peaceful run in the woods in beautiful Charlottesville.

The day of festivities begins in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, the pride of Thomas Jefferson.

And a program honoring four very dedicated and selfless Torch Bearer organizations in Charlotteville. Medals were presented to individuals who received them on behalf of their organizations and the people they serve.

The Rotunda

Our Torch Bearers were heralded in by the Fair Winds Trio. It was such a delight to hear their beautiful recorder music. It created an atmosphere of beauty and joy, even before the formal program began.

Inside the Rotunda, welcome Torch Bearer recipients! Thank you for what you are doing.

The Jeffersonland Chorus joins the program to sing, and thank you to Dr. Ken Wallenborn, founder of the Jeffersonland Chorus 55 years ago. In 2022, Ken received the Torch Bearer Award for his lifelong dedication to medicine, DNA research and to truth. Ken is seen in the middle.

We felt very fortunate to have Mark Lorenzoni with us. UVA President James Ryan asked that he share a few words of wisdom. Mark gave us some priceless insights about running, dedication to a positive goal and to the oneness and hopes of the Charlottesville community. He spoke also about one our Torch Bearer recipients, The Equity Center and what valuable work they are doing. We look forward to seeing Mark again next time.

Charlottesville coordinator Rupasi Young

Our first Torch Bearer recipient is Do Good Cville, Co-Founders Kerry and Colleen Rock hold the torch with their two daughters Amelia and Harper. Kerry's Mom also flew in from California for the program. Her own self-giving example paved the way for Kerry's love of service to humanity and dedication to 'doing good'. As Torch Bearer's, Kerry and Colleen are passing the torch to the next generation as well in and through their children.

Next is Virginia Organizing. The TB Award is received by Rosemary Gould. Rosemary humbly said that she receives the award only as the representative of the people she serves. Each one of them are the rightful heir to the Torch Bearer Award. VO is dedicated to community outreach and helping empower and encourage those who feel they do not have a voice and who are historically underserved.

Next is The Equity Center. Ben Allen -Executive Director receives the award on behalf of the TEC. Although invited to receive for TEC, we also found in Ben a passionate and dedicated individual who cares deeply for the mission of TEC and for setting an example for generations to come. Thank you Ben. The TEC works with UVA to develop community partnerships and pave the way for an educational opportunity for those who had previously been denied. TEC recognizes inequities of the past yet are dedicated to forging ahead and creating new pathways to change and possibility. TEC is about building a future of unity and educational equality.

Ben passes the torch and sets and example to the next generation. Thank you Ben.

Finally, Peace Run recognizes the International Rescue Committee of Charlottesville. IRC is an international organization operating in 50 countries. They embody a deep kindness, hospitality and recognition that the world is one family in which we all belong. The Torch Bearer Award is received by Kendall Repass. Thank you also to Dylan Nicholls for being part of the program!

Peace Runners sing A New World of Peace.

A Torch Bearer of the future.

The program finishes with a Peace Walk on the Rotunda Lawn.

The women's team stopped by Rugged Mountain Running and Walking Shop to visit with Mark Lorenzoni afterwards. Mark and his wife Cythnia opened Rugged Mountain 42 years ago and have served the Charlottesville running community since then. Mark's said his proudest achievement is the mentorship and guidance he has been able to offer to over 1000 UVA students employed by Rugged Mountain over that time.

Next the team takes a moment to visit Monticello and honor Thomas Jefferson's legacy.

Our tour guide Don McCracken said "Mr. Jefferson would have loved to have you here. He loved peace."

The runners were then welcomed by the lovely community at Yogaville. They welcomed the team for meals and accommodations and make us feel welcome during their evening of peace and spiritual renewal. It was an opportunity also to recognize a very special initiative, Yogaville Environmental Solutions (YES).

Kusumita Pedersen shares some details YES and its continuing efforts to safeguard the environment. YES successfully prevented the Atlantic Coast Pipeline from becoming a reality. Thank you Kusumita

Jeeva Abbate and Swami Dayananda receive the Torch Bearer Award on behalf of YES. Thank you both for your love of the environment and your continuing efforts to speak and act on behalf of the Earth.

After the program, members of the Yogaville community took a moment to hold the Peace Torch and share their own hopes and dreams of peace among all people and beings on our green planet.

Swami Satchidananda received the U Thant Peace Award from Sri Chinmoy Peace Meditations at the United Nations NGO in New York many years ago.

A very deep and heartfelt thank you to Swami Dayananda for all her efforts and for making the team feel welcome.

And thank you to all the member of Yogaville. We will carry your hopes and dreams of peace and harmony with us we continue our journey around North America and the world.

Mataji is the eldest Swami at Yogaville recently celebrating her 95th birthday.

Torch carried by
Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jozsef Dicso (Hungary), Kusumita Pedersen (United States), Nastya Konova (Ukraine), Pransukh Marks (United States), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Puroga Theobald (Hungary), Rupasi Young (United States), Salil Wilson (Australia), Sweta Pradhan (Nepal), Uugantsetseg Otgonbayar (Mongolia).  
Harita Davies, Rupasi Young, Salil Wilson
The torch has travelled 40.0 mi from Charlottesville, VA to Buckingham, VA.

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