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- Off Route
- New York
- USA 29 July: NYC Manhattan - NYC summer Camp
- USA 22 July: New York Brooklyn - Brooklyn
- USA 20 July: Chelsea Manhattan - Queens
- USA 16 July: NYC Queens - NYC Manhattan
- Route 2012
- Schools and Kids
- World-Harmony-Run Song
- Torch-Bearer Award
USA 3 May: Orlando, FL
From Jacksonville we had to drive south to Orlando as it was 140 miles off of our east to west route. Because we have so many friends there who organized many events for us, we decided to take a day off of running our full mileage so we can spend the day sharing our events with many more people who normally would not otherwise get a chance to do so.
The first stop, early in the morning, was the Orlando office of Senator Bill Nelson. Unfortunately he could not be there at this time but, Lisa Marshall, Deputy Director of Constituent Services, gave us a tour of their offices. She told us many things about all the great work that Sen. Nelson, a former astronaut who was on one of the space shuttle missions, is doing. Then she read out an excellent letter of support and encouragement from Senator Nelson for the Harmony Run.
After the meeting there were about a dozen children and several teachers from the Nap Ford Community School waiting for us so they could run a mile to their school for a program there.
Jennifer Porter Smith, Executive Director Nap Ford Community School, Teacher Counselor Monica Garcia, Health and Physical Education Teacher Ms. Ashley Allen were quite enthusiastic as they offered us a wonderful welcome.
Mayor representative Mrs. Lizette Valarino, assistant to the Mayor, read a proclamation offered by Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty naming May 3rd as World Harmony Run Day.
The Torch Bearer’s Award was offered to two distinguished individuals:
Val B. Demings, Police Chief, City of Orlando, for her tremendous commitment to bringing peace and harmony to the Parramore area and significantly reducing the crime rate;
And Jennifer Porter Smith, Executive Director Nap Ford Community School, for her advocacy and dedication to the improvement of children’s lives and education.
After we offered our program, there were several performances by the students and Ms. Allen offered many students a Citizens Certificate for being a World Harmony Student Ambassader.
The children had created many pieces of art and one even designed the art for the T-shirts that the entire school was wearing.
Finally at the end of the ceremony many students and staff went outside with the team to plant a tree. There isn’t much more harmonious than a big beautiful self-giving tree.
We ran into the next school, Midway Elementary School, to a beautiful amphitheater that was just completed along with the new school building.We had the honor of being the first group to hold a function there with the students.
We welcomed by a full marching drumline. It was so powerful!
They offered us a program with a small orchestra of children that played beautifully and sang Imagine. We offered them our program as well and all the children joined in as we sang our World Harmony Run Theme Song.
Our team and the school very nice planted a tree for world harmony. It is so nice to have such a beautiful reminder of the need for world peace and harmony.
Thank you so much to Assistant Principal Kimberly Goolsby and Art Teacher Jolee Rinick for making our visit possible.
Our next school in our busy schedule for the day was the Page Private School. They had welcomed us in years past so it was a real treat to meet with all the children and staff there.
Laura Porter, Director Page Private School, was as enthusiastic as ever as she organized the children for a program with us on a small indoor stage.
Some of the students came up to read some of their own poems about peace and harmony which truly means a lot to us and is always the highlight of the school programs.
The children’s own expressions and feelings about harmony and peace in the world around them always seem to reflect the sincere need for these qualities for everyone, young or old.
The Torch Bearer Award was given to Amber, a 7th grader in Page Private School, for her 100 percent positive attitude. She strives to always make a good choice and can be counted on to help without being asked. Her peaceful attitude is shared by her parents.
After a break for lunch most of the team ran a few miles from the home of our hard working coordinators, David and Cynthia Morrison along with many local runners, including Diane Simboli (pictured running into the school above), a teacher from Page Private School, and her son James to the Lake Mary City Hall.
We were greeted there by Mayor David J. Mealor who offered two Torch Bearer Awards:
The first to Rear Admiral Tyler Dedman, a highly decorated veteran and founding member and vestryman of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lake Mary, FL, and treasurer and a founding director of “The Mountain of Hope”, a charitable non-profit organization providing healthcare and building and operating a medical-dental clinic in rural northeastern Honduras. For his nearly 20 years of volunteer work in Honduras, he was recognized as an honorary lay canon of the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras. He also served the community of Lake Mary, FL on numerous boards and committees including trustee of the Community Improvement Association. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Lake Mary, a past president of the Association of Naval Aviation (Central Florida Chapter); a past president of the Sanford Area Retired Naval Officers Association, and a life member of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. He is also a life member and past director and chairman of the editorial board of the U.S. Naval Institute.
And City Manager, Mr. John Litton for working with the Mayor and Lake Mary City Commission for the construction of City Hall, The Sports Complex, Liberty Park, The Police Station, The Tennis Complex, The Municipal Services Complex, The Parks Maintenance Facility, The Events Center, The Skate Park and Trailhead Park. In 2007, CNN/Money magazine ranked Lake Mary as the 4th Best Place to Live in the United States in towns with a population below 50,000. This prestigious award is in large part due to his leadership, vision and managerial skills.
Our final event for the day was a tree planting at the White Peacock, a natural healing Center nearby. We were welcomed by Dr. Debra Clarke and the White Peacock, Interactive Center for Preventative Medicine who kindly offered us a part of their garden to plant a tree for harmony.
Dave and Cynthia Morrison, our coordinators of this amazing day, wish to offer their sincere thanks to all those who made this day as incredible as it was:
Regional Director of Senator Bill Nelson, Celeste T. Brown. Mr. David Mealor (Mayor of Lake Mary), Mr. John Litton (Lake Mary City Manager), Mr. Bill Carrico (Lake Mary Director of Parks and Recreation Dept), Kathy Gehr (Assistant to Director of Parks and Recreation), Melissa Flippin (Lake Mary City Event Coordinator) ,Steve Bracknell (Police Chief of Lake Mary), Mike Biles (Lieutenant), Joe Gowen (Sargeant), Adam Creamer (police officer, motorcycle motorcade leader), Stella Tagliavore (Lake Mary School of Art), Dr. Debra Clarke (The White Peacock, Interactive Center for Preventative Medicine), Tina Thompso (Fire Inspector, Lake Mary),Wendy Niles (Fire Marshall, Lake Mary), The Lake Mary Fire Dept, the local Lake Mary runners.
Thank you so much to the La Quinta Inn & Suites for offering us such excellents accommodations! We slept hard after this full day!
Please forgive us if we have forgotten mention anyone.
Thank you all for a glorious day in Orlando!
Distance: 4 miles
Arpan DeAngelo (New York), Atulya Lee Berube (San Diego), Yuyudhan Hoppe (Minnesota), Gabriel (Canada), Mark Collinson (England), Kshetragna (Russia), Surya (Russia), Drsalu (Austria), Vladimir (Moldova), Kokila Chamberlin (Wales), Salil Wilson (Australia), Vajra Henderson (New York)
Gallery: See more images!
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