My name is Gary Theriault,
In 1984, needing to challenge myself to break free from an over indulging lifestyle, I entered the lottery to compete in the Kona Ironman Triathlon World Championship. Picked and representing Oregon as a resident I went to Kona, Hawai’i in September 1984 for the October race. For economical reasons my wife Elizabeth and son Jerome remained in Portland.
I was alone preparing to do something I really didn’t know the depth of while dealing with the insecurities of my life and the challenge I committed to complete. As I searched for my truth, my inner strength, I witnessed famine in Ethiopia (1983-85, 200,000 had died by Oct. 1984, 400,000 died before it ended in 1985) on a 13" television in the little studio I rented in Kona while I prepared for the Ironman. I remember returning to the studio each night and while settling in watching the news, crying every time Ethiopia was reported on. I wondered how it was possible I could be so insecure with my abundant life while seeing the reality in Ethiopia, death and suffering of such magnitude, I was humbled and started thinking beyond myself.
After completing the 1984 Kona Ironman I returned to Oregon with the emotions of Ethiopia remaining fresh on my mind and in my heart and over time the idea of GIST was conceived; GREATER International Services Trust, an International Disaster Relief Organization. For many years I visualized GIST participating in international peace building through community service and disaster relief, but as the years passed GIST slowly went into hibernation. Then in 2001 during the 9/11 disaster the essence of GIST resurfaced and transformed into what is now World Peace Run, Inc. (WPRI). The WPRI plan included a Seven Stage World Peace Run® (WPR) that would eventually circumnavigate our world to encourage peace building. GIST is now part of the much larger WPRI plan and in the future will provide the relief services I visualized all those years ago.
In June 2011, almost ten year after 9/11, WPRI was incorporated and the process to turn it into a public charity began. The application for 501(c)(3) tax exempt approval was submitted in November 2011. It took 18 months and the removal of the planned Seven Stage World Peace Run® (WPR) before the IRS would finally approve our application for tax exemption; granted on 26 April 2013. The Seven Stage WPR will now be privately funded here and I will do Stage One, World Peace Run, North America, starting on the Summer Solstice, June 20, 2016.
WPR will wind through hundreds of communities from Berlin, New Hampshire to Niagara Falls, through Canada north of Lake Erie, re-entering the U.S. near Detroit, then southwest to Baja California, Mexico finishing by the Autumn Equinox on September 22, 2016. We will carry a message of peace along the way and share our adventure on social media as we upload GPS, videos, photos, Q&A and much more, encouraging people from around the world to think World Peace and support the full concept of WPRI.
Mahalo for listening,
Gary, World Peace Runner
Founder, World Peace Run, Inc.For more information about World Peace Run, Inc. the Public Charity, please go to: A 21st Century Campaign for Peace
About this gofundme fundraiser:
World Peace Run, North America from Berlin, New Hampshire to Mexico with a little Canada too is not about me or any one person, it’s about everyone, it’s about humanity. It’s about fundraising for World Peace Run, Inc. (WPRI) the Public Charity and how focusing together to evolve peace can make it happen, but it will take decades and the synchronization described in the WPRI Plan. I'm simply a laborer, the runner on this adventure and solutions thinker. It will not be easy to run/walk a couple thousand miles through communities from New Hampshire to Mexico every day and be happy all the time. I will definitely have a lot of time to think along the way. But, whenever I come in contact with a child or children, I will become animated and enthusiastic, represent the Aloha Spirit and encourage them to be peaceful people. I hope to be as enthusiastic with everyone I meet, but it's the children who will save the planet for their children and we can help them. They and the disenfranchised elderly are the priority here.
WPRI will build an organization and work to synergize with other great organizations from around the world who already work for humanity. We together can increase the momentum necessary for an evolution that generates a more peaceful future. It will take decades as I said before, way beyond many of our lifetimes, but for my personal peace in this life, I’m obliged to make a contribution to improve it.
The imbalance and dysfunction thriving in our communities, our country and our world motivated me to create WPRI. Now is the time for me to do WPR, North America in hundreds of communities across North America and begin the process to establish WPRI so that one day we may realize it’s potential to help harmonize humanity! Please support this fundraiser and the full concept of WPRI. Please join with me and imagine today's babies, babies actually living in a future where peace is thriving around the world.
The estimated cost for me as World Peace Runner and 1 other person when available for 14 weeks are:Motorhome $16,000.
(A 2000 Holiday Rambler 33' Class A motorhome. After completing WPRNA it will be sold on the west coast for no less than $15,000, equal to the combined total of all the Reward Levels incentives below. The fundraiser goal must be reached and the recovered money from the sale will be donated to WPRI in the names of those who buy one or more of the Reward Levels. A tax deductible receipt will be sent to each person who purchased a Reward for the amount of the reward after the motorhome is sold. If for some reason the motorhome sells for less, the percentage difference lost will be adjusted equally to every donation. Example: Sold at $13,500, not $15,000, 10% less will be donated in the name of each person; $500= $450.) If all the rewards do not sell and the fundraiser goal is achieved and I recover all of my $16,000 out of pocket cost here on gofundme, the money from the motorhome sale will be donated to World Peace Run, Inc. Those who donate here, starting with the highest donations, a receipt will be offered to those who want a tax deduction.Fuel estimate, $1,500RV park and RV Lua disposal fees estimate, $500Food and supplies for 1-2 people estimate, $3,250Volunteer air travel and emergency fund, $2,500gofundme fee 5%, WePay CC 2.9% +30¢, $2,250
Mahalo for taking the time and getting to this point, much has been said. Mahalo to United Airlines for giving me 5 months personal leave to organize and do WPR, N.A... Mahalo to my wife Elizabeth for all her support over the years and for taking on everything here at home and at our Kona Art Gallery while I'm gone. And finally, mahalo to my KOAOZ, Kona United Ohana for their support and Aloha!
A little about me for those of you who I've not met:
Married 38 years in August to Elizabeth, our anniversary and my birthday will come and go while I'm on the road this summer.
Finished 10 Kona Ironman Triathlons, 1984-2008.
Finished the 1st Annual Vermont 100mi. Trail Run in 1989.
Numerous Half-Ironman and other Triathlons, 1984-2008.
Boston Marathon, 2010 & 2012.
Numerous Ultra-Runs, trail and road, 50K and up, 1988-Present.
100's of summits, mostly Hualalai, 8271 ft., 1987-Present.
Please support all Seven World Peace Runs here, mahalo! Please share this with everyone you can, mahalo again!