A million thanks cannot express our gratitude to our sponsors and partners and to the participants in the Million Steps for Peace, an 18-mile walk and run around St. Thomas. By assisting in bringing this dream alive, and in taking your steps for peace, you have contributed to making the Virgin Islands safer for the people of the Territory.
On March 16, 2013, the participants all gathered at Fort Christian Parking Lot a little after 4 o’ clock in the morning. Although the event was only conceived in the last few months starting with an organizational meeting in mid-December 2012, there were over 400 people who met us in the Parking Lot ready to march around the island of St. Thomas. Many of these individuals walked and ran through the entire 18-mile course going through Havensight out to Red Hook and then traveling west through Smith Bay up Cassi Hill finishing at the University of the Virgin Islands. Many of the participants finished far in advance of the 1:30 pm scheduled arrival time at University of the Virgin Islands; in the process, all of the participants went through the major population centers of St. Thomas and near most of the schools and housing communities on the island. As the participants went through the various communities, we brought the message of peace through walk, song and prayer.
We want to thank the sponsors of the event, the V.I. Division of Personnel, the VI Department of Human Services, Project Safe Neighborhoods, Virgin Islands Police Department, University of the Virgin Islands, the Family Resource Center, the Virgin Islands Housing Authority and My Brothers Workshop. Also, special thanks to the V.I. Taxi Association and Mr. Winston Parker who helped with the all- important task of transporting people along the course and back to wherever they started without a fee, and who gave up time and money in assisting us in this event; the St. Thomas Association of Road Runners and Ms. Therese Hodge who assisted in so many ways with organizing the event; and our brothers and sisters of the Jubilee Ministries who walked with us. Thanks again to the individuals and officers with St. Thomas Rescue and Virgin Islands Police Department that helped to provide for the health and security of everyone along the course.
Also, without the St. Thomas-St. John Fellowship of Pastors, we would not have achieved the appeal to peace and guidance at each of the stations along the way, and we would not have touched the participants and the community in the profound manner that we did. We give special thanks to Pastor James Petty, Pastor Carl Richardson, Pastor Hector Lima, Pastor Lennox Zamore, Apostle Alger Warren, and Minister Tara Gumbs for praying for the peace of the community at the stations along the way. We would also like to thank those who assisted us at each of the individual stations and helped to organize the events at the stations. They were:
Therese Hodge and Amy Gurlea at Antilles School; James Latham, Jacqueline Freeman and Scott Bradley at the Nadir Bridge to Nowhere; Dr. Asha DeGanness at Lindquist Beach; Ms. Karen Ault at Ft. Mylner; Ms. Shirley Sadler at Roosevelt Park; and Mr. Mitchell Neaves who hosted the reception at the University of the Virgin Islands. Ms. Sonika Thomas and Mr. Jerry Lynch are also commended for assisting us in providing singing and the sound system, respectively, at the Roosevelt Park Station.
Finally, we want to give special recognition to those individuals who also helped to make the event a success including Lt. Delita Francis who helped organize the water and beverage delivery and who made sure that all of the stations were ready for the participants; Mr. Joel Gifft who announced the event at several of the stations by blowing the shofar; Mr. Josiah James who came out to take pictures, and walked the entire course with us; and Virgin Beverages, Inc. that donated cases of water. We also thank Fintrac for assisting us with updating the web page for this very important event. We note that all of the individuals mentioned have been commended in particular areas, but still helped in so many ways in other areas of the organization of the event.
Finally, again, special thanks to all of the walkers and runners that came out and participated, including the Virgin Islands National Guard, the Junior ROTC from Ivanna Eudora Kean, and those who have been hurt by the loss or injury to a loved one. We all took more than a million steps and contributed to the peace of these islands, our home.
1 Timothy 2:2 says, to pray for Kings and all who are in authority or high responsibility, that ( outwardly ) we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life ( and inwardly ) a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.
May the peace of the Lord be in your in your mind, in your hearts, your soul and homes wherever you go in these times of trouble.
Yours truly, Celia A. Carroll, president, Mothers Against Guns/Jason Carroll Memorial Fund