White Rock hell-raiser inspires ‘a little bit of peace’

White Rock’s Ra McGuire and wife Debbie will be the recipients of the Torch Bearer Award on April 25. - Contributed photo
White Rock’s Ra McGuire and wife Debbie will be the recipients of the Torch Bearer Award on April 25.
— image credit: Contributed photo

They’ve gone from raising a little hell to inspiring a little peace.

White Rock’s Ra McGuire, singer-songwriter of the iconic Canadian rock band Trooper (whose hits include “Raise A Little Hell”), and his wife Debbie, who spearheaded the campaign to establish a fine arts program at White Rock Elementary, are to receive special recognition for inspiring cultural harmony and championing the arts in education.

The couple will receive the Torch Bearer Award – sponsored by the international World Harmony Run – April 25 at Peace Arch Park.

“The McGuires have made the world a better place through their heartfelt commitment to bringing people together and sharing the gift of peace through music,” World Harmony Run executive director Salil Wilson said.

“We’re grateful to be included among the illustrious recipients of the Torch Bearer Award,” commented Debbie McGuire, whose campaigning helped lead to the creation of Surrey’s Intensive Fine Arts Program, first such in the school district.

“Each of us has a significant and important role to play in this world – not only in ‘raising a little hell’  but, more importantly, in ‘inspiring a little peace’,” said Ra McGuire.

Past recipients of the Torch Bearer Award include music producer and entrepreneur Russell Simon, sports legend Billie Jean King and Slovenian head of state Dr. Danilo Turk.

The bi-annual run, founded in 1987 by peace visionary Sri Chinmoy, now stands as the world’s longest global relay, covering more than 45,000 miles in more than 100 countries. Since it began, runners have logged enough miles to circle the earth  13 times.

In the run’s 25th anniversary year, the run’s Canadian team will cover 2,755 km in relays across the country, while parallel runs will take place throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

More important than the distance covered is the slogan ‘harmony begins with me’ and the message of cross-cultural understanding, self-esteem and positive learning environments that the run brings to children in schools, daycamps and athletic organizations in every community along each run route.

Among luminaries who have held the World Harmony Run torch are South African president Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev and Mother Theresa.



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