How would feel, to be an integral part of a an organization developed to help people all over the world? To be part of leaving a legacy behind you, of helping to cure one of the worlds greatest causes of mortality.? And if i could tell you that you could do this all seated where you are right now, in the comfort of your own home? And ,,, have a great deal of fun, learning, and pride while doing this? If so,,, welcome to the world of Relay For Life In Second Life. Thats right, you can be part of one of the largest fundraising efforts in the world of simulations. Lets have a little history of the organization first.
History of Relay – Celebrating Hope
One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than with the story of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, which began in Tacoma, Washington. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed – running marathons.
In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83 miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.
While circling the track those 24 hours, Dr. Klatt thought about how others could take part in his mission to fight cancer. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Over the next few months, he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event, known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.
In 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn – now known as the “Mother of Relay” – 19 teams took part in the first team Relay event on the track at the historic Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.
Since then, Relay has grown from a single man’s passion to fight cancer into the world’s largest movement to end the disease. Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities in the United States, along with additional communities in 20 other countries, gather to take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer. Thanks to Relay participants, the American Cancer Society continues to save lives.
What is Relay For Life of Second Life?
Relay For Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society and has been active, and continually growing in Second Life for 7 years. In 2005, the first Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL) was attended by a few hundred avatars and raised almost $5,000 US dollars for the American Cancer Society. In 2009 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over $250,000.00 US dollars and was attended by thousands of avatars. In 2011 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over $375,000. We also surpassed the $1,000,000 mark in overall fundraising total in SL during our 2011 campaign!
The 2012 Relay For Life of Second Life will begin with the March 10th, 2012 Kick-Off and culminate the weekend of July 14th and 15th, 2011. Relay Weekend is a fun-filled, overnight event that unites SL individuals throughout the world to celebrate survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones and raise money for the fight against cancer.
“Individuals who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event, as a volunteer or participant, have made a commitment to fight back against this disease and let the community know that you can beat cancer.”
Relay For Life Teams form in February and early March, and we begin with the 2012 Kick Off Party on March 10th. Teams continue to fundraise from March through July by holding events. The Relay For Life of Second Life finishes with the official overnight Relay on July 14th & 15th, 2012. During that weekend, team members gather at their Team Campsites, walk the Relay Track, enjoy live music, participate in fun events, and explore the many Relay Sims as the event runs overnight and into the next morning. In 2011, over 125 RFL of SL Teams and over 2000 avatars participated in the largest virtual fundraising walk in the world and this year the number will be even higher.
The Relay For Life of Second Life has the ability to virtually bring together friends, families, businesses, and support organizations from all over the world, all with the goal of raising money and awareness in the fight against cancer!
Fighting cancer is a team effort. The strength of people coming together for a common cause is greater than the strength of one. Teams are the spirit of Relay For Life of Second Life!
Now that you know where we came from, how bout a sample of what it’s like to be part of all this? This is the fun stuff! And there is a ton of work to do, so let’s get started! You are part of a Relay Team, one of many who work diligently all year to prepare for this 5 month siege against the mother of all disease.
Your a designer, working on a beautiful one of a kind creation borne out of your desires within, above that , your making it to sell as part of the Relay effort . where every Linden raised goes directly to the American Cancer Society.
Your helping to put together a large concert event, talking to fantastic entertainers from all over the SL World. Scheduling the events, building the sets needed, Using your imagination to create something that people will be buzzing about all over SL.
Or, using your talents to help create second Life’s greatest event, the Relay For Life itself, planning, designing, building, whatever your skill, putting them to the ultimate task. Interfacing with hundreds of people from all over the globe, all working to a great end. Making friendships that you’ll have the rest of your life.
And when i say Fun, it truly is, Working at a Carnival, being part of an entertainment venue, guiding others around an Art exposition, or even just dancing and conversing with friends. All in a days work, that will leave you breathless, once you hear stories of the individuals who have been helped by this. It will definitely lift you, i promise that!
So how does this all happen? How do our Lindens get to where they are needed? First off, all of the monies donated go directly to the American Cancer society. We use Kiosks to collect the donations. Each Kiosk is registered through the “net” and communicates directly to ACS. Each one is verifiable, through an interrogatory process, that assures anyone donating that this is an official Kiosk. So lets put that 50 Linden in the Kiosk,,, it then passes through the account of the avatar that rezzed it, and goes directly to the ACS, the avatar sees it pass through and out of their act and on to ACS, it’s all automatic, and all verifiable. The Kiosk will then show whats been dropped in, who dropped the donation, how much, and so on. This has all been carefully done to avoid any kind of scamming, or such, but mainly to appease the multitude who think that this is just some scheme to make a profit by individuals, which id the farthest thing from the truth.
Consider the fact that Relay For Life In Second Life has generated more than One Million US Dollars in real money over the last 7 years, quite an accomplishment for an online Sim.
All this, we do voluntarily, with no reward other than the wonderful warm feeling you get from knowing that you’re helping to ease pain and suffering, giving a ray of hope to someone who has heard those dreaded words,,, you have Cancer. To hear the survivors talk, of all they went through, and of all the help they have gotten, this truly is one cause that we need to support, One thing that we ourselves can do, to truly help make a difference in the world we live in, and improve it drastically with peace and dignity. Just knowing that I am doing this, putting my heart and soul into such a cause, it causes me to really ponder worldly existence sometimes, and I’m very proud, and very happy to be a part of it, to be here where i can make a difference, where i can be a true Life’s Angel.