Fantasy Faire 2020: three reasons to relay

Fantasy Faire 2020: Agra Adara

Fantasy Faire is now well under way for 2020, the gates to the Fairelands having opened on April 23rd. In writing my shorthand guide to the the event, I was drawn again and again to Zander Green’s pre-opening letter to all those who participate in the Faire every year. So much so, that my shorthand guide risked getting sidetracked in thoughts surrounding Zander’s words. Instead, I decided it might be better to offer those thoughts in a separate piece.

Since 2009, Fantasy Faire has offered many reasons for people to come together and share their time and company in raising money as part of global Relay for Life activities. But this year, perhaps more than the previous 11, Fantasy Faire offers three particular reasons to relay that can apply to each and every one of us who spend time within Second Life.

The first is aligned to the cause of overcoming cancer in all of its forms. This is the campaign for which the Fairelands were born from the mists of imagination in 2009, and it is campaign which has – as Zander reminded us – achieved a tremendous amount:

This year, over seven hundred souls will work to summon the Fairelands back from the Somnia Caligo, the Mist of Dreams and twenty thousand will come as visitors to those summoned shores. Small numbers still, when you consider our world is home to 7.8 billion people.

Yet, sometimes the smallest numbers carry the most weight. Certainly, that is true in the Fairelands …

For example, 0.13% is – I’m sure you would agree – a very small number. But as always, context is king. So, to understand just how large that number actually is we first must consider the equation that yields that solution.

By the end of the 2019 season, Fantasy Faire’s total amount raised placed us as the 82nd most successful Relay For Life team on Earth [and] in 2019, there were a total of 63,270 Relay For Life teams worldwide …

Put another way, last year the Fairelands were in the TOP 0.13% of all Relay For Life teams, not just in Second Life but all across the globe.

That is how much weight a small number can carry. That is how much good a small group of people can do.

– Zander Greene, April 17th, 2020

In all, and through to the end of 2019’s event, Fantasy Faire has raised a stunning US $358,000 for RFL and ACS. That’s an incredible amount considering the Faire exists for just a handful of days each year. It speaks directly to the nature and hearts of all who attend, shop and donate. The money raised has gone on to support those stricken with cancer and their families and care givers through the Unite States and beyond, and most recently has helped give birth to the work of the Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel.

A US $2 million project, the Hope Hostel provides 156 beds for those seeking cancer treatment at KNH, Kenya’s largest public referral hospital with comprehensive cancer treatment facilities, together with support and resource facilities for family members and carers. Its existence means that those coming to the hospital from all corners of Kenya, and who might otherwise be unable to afford accommodation and care during treatment, can have somewhere safe, clean and secure to stay during their treatment sessions and where they can receive advice and support during their stay.

Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel

In adopting the Hope Hostel as a focus for fund-raising at Fantasy Faire 2028, Fairelanders and Second Life Relayers were able to make a lasting difference to many cancer sufferers and their families in Kenya, as evidenced by a letter to Fairelanders written ahead of 2019’s Fantasy Faire by Kristen Solt, Managing Director of the ACS
Global Health Initiatives Programme.

Thanks in large part to Relayers in Second Life, we’ve been able to launch the Patient Navigator program at KNH which in the last year has given FOUR THOUSAND Kenyans access to better information and assistance. Think about that number for a moment: four thousand people! Ask yourself how many family members they each have. How many friends and loved ones? There are tens of thousands of people in Kenya today whose lives are already better because of you.

– Kristen Solt, ACS Global Health Initiatives Programme Managing
Director, April 13th, 2019

By joining in with this year’s Faire, all of us can help further work like this, helping cancer sufferers and those close to them the world over.

The second reason to relay in 2020 lies with the currently global situation. Because of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, events around the world are being cancelled – including those for RFL. Remember that in 2019 alone, there were 63,270 RFL teams around the word raising money for ACS; in 2020, few will be able to operate with the same zeal in raising funds. This means that for 2020, Fantasy Faire and RFL of SL are at the very forefront of fund-raising for ACS, as Zander again pointed out in his letter.

Right now, with so many RFL events around the world facing cancellation because of the dangers of Covid-19, ours has become one of the few that can proceed as planned. Our community has never been more important. Four million Relayers around the world are looking to us to carry the baton for them. A world full of cancer patients, survivors and caregivers turn their eyes to us. The American Cancer Society has asked us to be their Standard Bearer.

– Zander Greene, April 17th, 2020

Fantasy Faire 2020: Autumnium
That’s why for 2020 it doesn’t matter if you would otherwise categorise yourself as being Bored With the Ring or would rather play Monopoly than watch Game of Thrones or would rather wear a Starfleet uniform with your pointed ears than accompany them with a pair of faerie wings, your presence – your willingness to give L$ – at Fantasy Faire, really is important. By giving of your time and becoming a Relayer perhaps for the first time, you will be helping Fantasy Faire and RFL of SL rise to the call from those 4 million global relayers in continuing to raise funds for ACS and its world-wide projects.

And the third reason? Simply this: by bringing so many of us together from so many backgrounds and parts of the world in a place where we can feel safe and share in a vision of hope and experience one another’s joy, friendship, support and more, the Faire stands as a reminder that the current times of fear and concern will pass; that there will again be times when we can gather with family or with friends or with neighbours and enjoy their company, love, and friendship once more.

So whether you are a journeymen of Fairelands past or a neophyte about to enter into them for the first time, here are three reasons for you to Relay in 2020. Which leaves me only to say – stay safe, stay virtual – and between now and May 10th, 2020, see you at the Fairelands!

Fantasy Faire 2020 SLurls and Event Links


Entertainment, Performances, Etc:

Event schedules: