Tomorrow, Saturday July 14, the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life event opens at 10am SLT. The opening ceremony will be followed by the Survivor/Caregiver Lap – the Honor Lap. Everyone stands along the side of the track to cheer these amazing people on as they make that first lap. The others will step onto the track after the Honor Lap and the Relay event is on! In Second Life, the event is 24 hours from opening to closing. Throughout the 24 hours – there are activities, entertainment, and continual laps around the 30 regions. At 9pm SLT on Saturday night, the regions will go dark and the luminaria bags will glow while we listen to the names of those that we honor and remember are read across the stream. The Luminaria Ceremony is one of the most touching and emotional parts of a Relay event. The activities and entertainment will continue until the closing ceremony at 9am SLT on Sunday morning.
Relay For Life is a signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Each year, thousands of Relay events are held in communities across the US and 27 other countries. The funds that are raised go towards services and research. This includes services specifically for cancer patients and their loved ones – Hope Lodge where the patient and their loved one can stay while undergoing treatment away from home; Road To Recovery offers transportation to/from treatment for the patient; National Cancer Information Center – the 24/7 call center where you can call for info whether you have been diagnosed, you are a caregiver or loved one, you are a researcher, you want to volunteer or maybe even donate… the helpful, knowledgeable staff will help you with your query.
I have been involved with Relay since 2008 when a new friend invited me to join their team. Throughout that first year and event, I was amazed to see how people come together for such a good reason in our virtual world. Over the years, I participated at differing levels from team member to committee member and sponsor. Because of my involvement in Second Life, I decided to jump into volunteering in my first life too. Since 2015, I have been volunteering at a local community, state, regional level. I am currently the Event Lead for the 2018 and 2019 Relay For Life seasons with my local community. I also serve as the SE Regional Communication/Online Lead working with a national team to provide “news you can use” in various mediums to volunteers nationwide. Volunteering for Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society is always a very rewarding experience. Walking around the track at any event, you will see the community spirit in the interactions and environment. Hosting survivors and caregivers at our local event is so heartwarming. But no matter what event I’m attending, it is the Luminaria Ceremony that means the most. It might be different within each community but all the same – emotional, touching, meaningful and the reason we need to be out on that track and raising funds year-round.
Consider visiting the Relay For Life of Second Life regions this weekend. More information can be found via my fundraising dashboard << HERE >> just check out the Event page. Of course, I’d be honored if you felt inclined to donate too 🙂