Support Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2019

via ACS in Second Life / Making Strides

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has, for the last several years, been a signature event for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life of Second Life, focused on – as the name implies – the issue of breast cancer.

Around 1.6 million women and men are diagnosed with breast cancer very year, which equates to around 270,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer per year in the United States and around 55,000 in the UK alone. It’s a cause I’ve always supported throughout my time in Second Life, although I will admit it was something brought a lot closer to home for me when I was diagnosed with DCIS – ductal carcinoma in situ, a form of non-invasive breast cancer. I was fortunate enough to be diagnosed early – but many around the world are not so fortunate, and breast cancer remains the second largest (by diagnosis) form of cancer to impact people world-wide; hence to focus of Makes Strides.

In keeping with the changes made in 2018 to Making Strides fund-raising in Second Life, this year will see two major events take place to raise funds to help with the detection, treatment and, ultimately, prevention of breast cancer world-wide: the Out Shop Cancer event and the Making Strides Walk-a-Thon.

ACS has recently put out a final call for merchants to join the Out Shop Cancer event, as well a call for participants in the 2019 Walk-a-Thon, which this year forms a part of the Pink Power Fest; details of both can be found below for those interested in participating in either event.

Out Shop Cancer

  • Dates: throughout October 2019.
  • SLurl: all across the grid – HUD based.

This is a grid-wide shopping event starting on October 1st, 2019 and ending on October 31st. Merchants are being asked to support it by designating specific items that will be sold either in their in-world stores or on the Second Life Marketplace store (or both) as a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer programmes and services.

When the event opens, shoppers will be able to obtain a special HUD enabling them to teleport to participating stores in world and find items on the Marketplace and make purchases, with the funds going to RFL of SL / ACS.

In 2018, 40 merchants participated in the event, and this year ACS is hoping to see 50 or more join in.

Because breast cancer is the 2nd most diagnosed cancer, and because Second Life gives us the opportunity to explore so many different forms of expression, we are planning a shopping experience that will offer something to as many types of avatars as possible. This means that we need a cross-section of designers and creators to represent fashion, hair, accessories, skins/shapes, A/Os, recreation, art, and anything else that would interest men, women, children, and non-human avatars in Second Life.

– Sandie Slate, ACS Event Lead for Make Strides Out Shop Cancer

Merchants willing to take part should follow the links below:

The Pink Power Fest and Making Strides Walk-a-Thon

  • Dates: Saturday, October 19th through Saturday, October 26th, 2019.
  • SLurl: TBA

This year’s Make Strides Walk-a-Thon will be the kick-off event for the 2019 Pink Power Fest, it will run from 10:00 through 18:00 on Saturday, October 19th.

Walkers are invited to join in throughout the 10 hours of the event and participate for as long as they can, walking the track and raising money from their donors for each lap they complete – tool will be provided to track their progress, allowing them to collect the pledges of supporters. Laps will be accompanied by music throughout, adding to the festive air.

If you would like to participate in the walk and obtain pledges from your SL friends and family who are willing to support you, please follow the links below:

In addition, the Pink Power Fest will feature daily events including live music and entertainment from singers, tribute bands and DJs gathering for the festival from across the grid. There will also be raffles, gachas, and vendors, with all donations & proceeds going to the American Cancer Society and the work in treating and preventing breast cancer. On Saturday, October 26th, the Fest will close with the Harvest of Hope Gala, honouring all Survivors & Caregivers, and remember those we have lost. I hope to have more information on the specifics of all of these events and activities in due course.

Hosting your Own Breast Cancer Event

This year, ACS is also inviting SL residents to host their own October event to support Making Strides, with a September 18th ACS announcement noting:

If you would like to plan your own breast cancer fundraiser, you’re encouraged to work within your community or group in Second Life to organize your own Strides Campaign. Make sure to let the American Cancer Society know about it by completing the ACS Calendar Event Submission Form so we can share it with others.

All Strides Campaigns must use the official Strides fundraising tools that are provided by the American Cancer Society. Fundraising campaigns may include events, hunts, shows, sales, or simply putting out a donation kiosk at your club or store throughout the month of October.

Individuals and groups wishing to do so should read the ACS announcement, complete the form linked-to in the quote above, and then obtain their free fund-raising tools via the Second Life Marketplace or by going to the Strides office on the American Cancer Society island.

Bellisseria: of Trailers, Campers and trains in Second Life

An aerial view of some of the new Trailers and Campers units, showing how residents have taken to using the outdoor spaces they provide

On Monday, September 16th, the first batch of regions containing the much anticipated Linden Homes Trailers and Campers arrived in Bellisseria. While they took a while to set up, they were made available on Tuesday, September 17th – and were all gone within 24 hours, demonstrating their popularity with Premium users.

Given I’d only taken a quick look around in my preview piece First looks: Bellisseria trailer and camper homes, I hopped back on Thursday, September 19th to take a more detailed look on horseback and, for the fun of it.

Peeking inside an unoccupied Trailer Home

Travelling the regions via the many trails – grass and track – and by following the railway lines, the first things that struck me was the care with which the regions have been laid out – particularly the blending of landscape between the Trailer and Camper regions and those for the Traditional Homes and Houseboats. There are no unnatural boundaries of “empty space” as witnessed with the “old style” Linden Homes, or abrupt switching of one style of landscape and terrain for another. Instead, and has been demonstrated throughout Bellisseria’s development, everything flows naturally from the more “suburban” areas of the Traditional Homes and coastal buffers of Houseboats into the more open countryside environment of the Trailers and Campers.

This might seem an odd thing to point out, but it’s important as it demonstrates the commitment from LL’s Land Team to make Bellisseria a genuinely contiguous, natural environment where there is a sense of place, rather than just a conglomeration of houses lumped together. This helps to make Bellisseria somewhere people can live, breathe, share and joy, and have plenty of encouragement to explore and participate.

The new regions offer even more space and opportunities for horse riding

In keeping with this is the way the parcels for the camper vans and trailers have been set out; as with the homes and houseboats, these are not simply cookie-cutter arrangements stitched together into a simple patchwork; each region has been landscaped to provide a natural environment, with balance between protected land and camper / trailer parcels and finished with a sound scape that enhances the setting, while the trailers and campers have all been more-or-less individually placed so there is no sense of simple repetition across different regions.

Within the regions, there are also plenty of public spaces. The most obvious of these at the time of writing is the Campwich Lodge. But there are also assorted lakeside piers and decks, camp sites, and cabins (the Premium gift Winter Cabin re-purposed), scattered throughout the regions.

When is a trailer not a trailer? When it’s a home. The Williamsburg

Not all the units that have been claimed have been occupied – something that is true of the Traditional Homes and Houseboats – but those that have are being enthusiastically decorated in much the same way as the homes and houseboats were, with a lot of happy chatter on the various Bellisseria related in-world groups. It’ll be interesting to see when / if pictures of people labours start turning up in the forums, such as in the Linden Homes photo thread (although at 60-ish pages, perhaps a new thread is needed!).

During my ride / walk through the regions, I tried avoid nosing inside the trailers and campers (they people’s homes / alternate homes after all!), but as expected, much use is being made of the outside space with people setting down just about everything you can imagine that’s in keeping with the theme: hot tubs and home pools, decking and seating, awnings and tents, picnic spreads and barbecues and – yes – even pick-ups and 4x4s.

A Michie Marine DB101 pootles along the Bellisseria rail lines. The cabin in the right foreground is not a Linden Home style – it is the Premium Gift Winter Cabin, a number of which the moles have re-purposed as a public spaces in the regions

For train enthusiasts, the railway lines – although incomplete pending the arrival of further public regions (some of which are currently in development) –  offer a rez zone in the (at the time of writing) yet-to-be-named SSPE260 region. It’s seen a fair amount of use already, with a variety of trains from steam locos to electric train cars to trams appearing on the tracks. In particular, a lot of people have been picking up the Michie Marine DB101 “line security loco”, which is available for no charge on the Marketplace and using that to ride the rails.

As I’m not a major train enthusiast, I initially tried the Premium Gift rail handcar (circa 2012), but found this no longer wanted to function – so I grabbed a copy of the Michie Marine myself. A nice touch with it is that the drive is automatic; set it in motion and you’re free to appreciate the scenery; no need to keep a key pressed. I assume other rez zone will be added as the railway is extended, but given the location of the one at SSPE260, it’ll be interesting to see if a boat rezzing area will be provided on the waterway close by, as the region is built-out. Doing so would certainly make sense.

A Newport camper

And talking of waterways; one of the neat things for me personally is that given the location of my houseboat, it’s possible to cruise to Campwich Lodge by boat, making it an ideal place to visit by water whenever the mood takes. I’m far from alone in this – care has been taken to ensure that the lodge is well connected to many of Bellisseria’s bodies of water and waterways.

In terms of which design seems to be the most popular among those moving in to the new regions, I would suggest that overall, it would appear to be the Williamsburg. While by no means an accurate indicator of things, overflying the new regions did seem to reveal the distinctive split-level roof of that design appearing a lot more frequently overall than the other designs. By the same “standard”, it would appear the Newport – possibly the smallest of the designs available – is the least popular at this point in time.

Following one of the trails back down to Campwich Lodge

Eyes will doubtless continue to be on the new Bellisseria regions for a while – particularly given work has already started on extending the railway lines into some of the surrounding regions. In the meantime, kudos once again to the Moles and the Land Team for their work.

Related links