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I may not have this in the right category. It maybe belongs in Destinations. It may be Off Topic. For me personally it is more to do with friends (and family) than anything else so I'm putting it here. Where it goes after that is fine.

There is a nationwide event in the US called the Relay For Life. It's sole purpose is to help cancer victims and defeat cancer. Events are held in towns all over the country. Typically teams of volunteers walk laps on a local school track in exchange for donations. There's a similar organization in the UK, I've been told.

I have a family member who's a survivor. I've met many in SL who are friends or family of survivors. I've met some who are themselves survivors. One of my friends actually came to SL in the first place as a result of a family member with cancer. That person did not survive but my friend remains in SL and has done a great deal of fundraising here for RFL.

I was reminded of all this by a news story I heard on a local radio station the other day about an opera singer who's in remission. I was moved by the story (I'll add a link here if anyone's interested) and started looking for RFL in SL--I've been going in RL for years but all I've ever done inworld is donate to boxes at clubs. And of course, it IS here. And the great thing is that the big SL event is this Saturday--March 12th. So for once my timing was good! To find out more, visit their blog here: http://rflofsl.blogspot.com/ or if you're as leery of links as I am, just google RFL in Second Life; it's not hard to find. I don't see it anywhere in Events in my dashboard but with all the Mardi Gras things there may not be room right now.

I don't have any connection with RFL in SL (yet) and I'm sure they will be getting the word out. I just thought to bring it up. And I do think it has much to do with friendship.

And here's the link to the news article. It seems they edited it down; some of the things I heard live are missing but it's still a moving story. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/03/04/opera-singer-fights-cancer-returns-to-bay-area-stage/ 

And again, to avoid linking just Google Zheng Cao (her name). You'll find, if not the above article, others that discuss the same thing.

ps: Because it's virtual, this is one time you can do a few RFL laps without sensible shoes :smileywink:

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Quinn, did I just hear you volunteer to organize a team?:smileywink:

Actually there probably isn't time to do that but if anyone reading this is on a team or knows of one please post. I'd love to volunteer some laps for somebody (I assume that's how it works here; I still haven't had time to do much more than get the dates from the blog). And if I can't do that I can at least be a sponsor.

If anyone else knows anything they'd like to share, please do. To say it is a worthy cause is the understatement of all time.

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Dillon RFL is July 16 & 17 in Second Life. What is happening this weekend is just the Kickoff Party. If I understand the Kickoff correctly it is the start of the fundraising. So it is most likely that it is not too late for Quinn to start organizing things. :smileyvery-happy:

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Keli Kyrie wrote:

Dillon RFL is July 16 & 17 in Second Life. What is happening this weekend is just the Kickoff Party. If I understand the Kickoff correctly it is the start of the fundraising. So it is most likely that it is not too late for Quinn to start organizing things. :smileyvery-happy:

You're right, Keli. I just finished reading that. Your correspondent got it a little confused. It's just the team kickoff; it did look a little late to form one but I did see a list of teams so when I have some time I'll see about getting on as a volunteer.

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Man, every time I open my mouth, people start volunteering me for things. :smileywink:

Actually, if others are interesting in forming a team, I would be happy to help organize it. However, the challenge for me is likely to be time due to some RL commitments between now and July, so I wouldn't be able to do it alone. For instance I wouldn't be able to attend Saturday's kick-off.

It does seem short notice to pull together a team at this point, though. Perhaps the better option is to watch how the planning and event unfold (i'm going to follow it on Twitter) so we know what we're in for and can plan ahead for next year?

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Quinn Morani wrote:

You have a big heart, Dillon. We should consider creating a Forum RFL team.

That was a sweet thing to say, Quinn, but really I don't. This is just something close to me and I was moved.

So. Now that I've actually had a chance to read things I have a better idea of what's going on. I was just kind of pumped to find the link to the Zheng Cao interview and then when I searched and saw that March 12th date for inworld I got carried away. I'd been thinking of mentioning RFL on the Forum ever since I heard that story. I was so gung ho I missed some important details.

It does not appear that it's actually too late to start a team but I do think it would be a mistake this year. Obviously all the teams and people already signed up probably started thinking about this at the end of last year's Relay (that's how it works in RL; don't see any reason why it would be different here). So even if we did start a team I think we'd be so noobish that we'd be taking time away from people whose time could be better used in organizing the event. I'm going to see what I can do about getting in a 'team volunteer pool' or something like that. I couldn't find anything on the blog or the website about that so I'll try an IM or notecard. Probably won't learn much until next week since this weekend is a big event.

I will, if this sticks around, keep it up to date. And if it does not survive, maybe someone in the SL RFL org can be persuaded to start a thread here; doesn't seem likely that they don't have a Forumite on staff but maybe they don't. I'll be sure to mention it.

I'm going to make one more post about the RL Relay, this one is too long already.

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The one thing I do hope everyone who reads this takes away is the idea of visiting a Relay event.

I have to be honest; I did not go the first few years. I really thought it was 'whistling in the dark' or false optimism like the local news anchor shouting that the local team will win the big game. I didn't ever say that, of course. I encouraged. Survivors do not need negativity. But I didn't go. So much for my big heart. I finally realized it was a big deal to my survivor and went.

I could not possibly have been more wrong about things. There's nothing even remotely artificial about a Relay For Life. It's as real as anything you'll ever experience. There are people there because they're survivors. There are people there because someone they loved did not survive. At our event there's a team--a team! made up of the extended family of the wife/mother/grandmother/sister/aunt who did not survive. Just there in her memory, helping others. There are people there who probably won't be there next year, and know it. And there are people there by the hundreds who just want to help.

One warning: it'll getcha. I go with my survivor and I know what to expect and it still gets me every time. And if you stay until dark and they turn down the track lights and light the luminaries....you'll be glad it's dark. It will move you. You don't need a big heart. The Relay will cause your heart to expand.

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I just received a group notice about a Relay For Life fundraiser event tonight. Thought I'd post it here in case anyone is interested in attending. I don't have the SLURL handy since I'm at work. Will come back and post it later.

*************************

Group Notice From: Flying Armadillo & Texas Patio

Good morning Dillos!  Just a reminder that tonight at 7 p.m. SLT  we have a special  RELAY FOR LIFE LIVE EVENT  -  Popular singer Wytchwhisper Sadofsky will perform for us and donate all tips will go to the SL RELAY FOR LIFE project .

Please come and join us for this awesome cause and help us make a difference in finding a cure for Cancer!!

This notice has an attachment.

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Thanks for posting that, Quinn. I hope more of those notices get posted here, although SL RFL has their own person who handles all the blog and forum stuff (I've learned) so I would think there will be more threads from them as time goes on.

Just an update on my particular effort. So far it has been pretty much zero. I did talk to a committee  member and learned that starting a group now would be difficult to say the least. I hoped to get on a team but so far I haven't even gotten that ironed out. I couldn't be inworld on Saturday while the team kickoff was going on and did not want to IM either of the team captains because I figured they'd be busy. I do think there's time (the main event isn't until July). Even with my limited inworld time I'm hoping I can contribute as a volunteer but if I can't do that I can and will contribute as a donor. As long as I'm stuck in RL I may as well make use of reason I'm stuck here ($).

I don't know who to ask for permission to do it, but I think it would be nice if the Hangout had a donation box for RFL. If anyone else feels the same way let me know--might be something that could be added. I present the suggestion as just that--a suggestion.

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Chris Norse would really be the best person to ask for permission to set out an RFL donation box at the Hangout, but he's been away from SL for a couple of months. I know for sure that both Sylvia Tamalyn and Theia Magic are in touch with him though, so either of them would probably be the next best option.

Next year we should really plan far enough ahead to do a forum team. It would be awesome to do something like this as a team with our friends here. You can definitely count me in on something like that.

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Quinn Morani wrote:

I just received a group notice about a Relay For Life fundraiser event tonight. Thought I'd post it here in case anyone is interested in attending. I don't have the SLURL handy since I'm at work. Will come back and post it later.

*************************

Group Notice From: Flying Armadillo & Texas Patio


Good morning Dillos!  Just a reminder that tonight at 7 p.m. SLT  we have a special  RELAY FOR LIFE LIVE EVENT  -  Popular singer Wytchwhisper Sadofsky will perform for us and donate all tips will go to the SL RELAY FOR LIFE project .


Please come and join us for this awesome cause and help us make a difference in finding a cure for Cancer!!


This notice has an attachment.

 

Here is the SLURL for anyone who would like to attend tonight's RFL event:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Tarnburg/190/74/26

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since I now have this terrific badge, thanks to Keli, it seemed a good time to update this thread.

I did finally get signed up with a Second Life RFL team: the Relay Rockers. When I started trying to learn more I picked one of the SLRFL officers from the contact section on their website and she turned out to be one of the co-captains for that team, so I asked to join. Took a bit of time to arrange the scheduling so I could meet with a team captain and get all the details ironed out but I finally got my interview and am now officially a Relay Rocker:smileyvery-happy:

I did get permission to have a donation box installed at the hangout (thank you Sylvia); it's against the wall right next to the refrigerator. Every L$ donated goes straight to the American Cancer Society so please feel free to drop something in the next time you visit.

I asked and was told that the team is always interested in new member signups; if you would like to join IM me inworld and I'll give you contact information. There are lots of teams; the SLRFL site lists them all, I believe.

http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/secondlife

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  • 2 weeks later...

Suddenly a very personal connection for me with this... I just learned tonight that a friend I've known almost my whole life has been diagnosed with melanoma that has metastasized to his lung. Very low chance of response to treatment.

He and his family are on a RL RFL team. That made me think of this thread and smile at all that people are doing for this great cause.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Last night there was a question on the Cartel group chat regarding the RFL kiosk at the Hangout which I was glad to be online to answer. The mention of it brought to mind something I've been meaning to add; now seems a good time.

When I met with the captain of my RFL team to talk about joining he made a point of stressing that what Relay is all about is raising money for the ACS, and I understand better why he did that. The Relay itself has acquired a life of its own—it's almost a social event, and one of the most moving things  you'll ever experience. I talked about that a little in a post earlier in this thread. It does bring people together and everyone who goes gains from the experience, but the real purpose is to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The ACS has a simple mission statement:

"The mission of the American Cancer Society is to eliminate cancer as a major health problem."

That, as my team captain pointed out, is really the goal to which all of this effort is directed. And that takes money. There will, I am sure, be much more said in Second Life about this subject quite soon, but a few weeks back I saw something in the SL RFL group chat that really impressed me. The Relay For Life of SL has raised a lot of money.

The first SL Relay was in 2005, and raised $5,000. That's US Dollars, not Lindens. In a bit less than six years, the total amount of money raised is just shy of $1,000,000. They expect to pass that mark in a matter of weeks; when the 2011 Relay actually takes place in July we'll be working on our second million.

Think about that. This bunch of geeks, with a dollar here, a five there, maybe a ten or twenty every now and then, has raised a million bucks. And by the way the ACS is globally involved; I mention that because I'm quite sure a lot of non-US residents have contributed to Relay.

Thank you to those who have donated to the kiosk in the Hangout and to those who will do so as time goes on. We really do make a difference.

A link to RFL of SL: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=34810&pg=entry

And to the group page on the ACS Relay for Life: http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/node/4216

 

 

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