SL Sci-Fi Expo 2021 and Out Shop Cancer in Second Life

Sci-Fi Expo 2021

The 2021 Second Life Sci-Fi Expo launched on Friday, October 8th, 2021, and will remain in orbit through until Sunday, October 17th, 2021 in aid of The American Cancer Society and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) campaign.

Active across multiple regions located alongside the American Cancer Society Island, this year’s even carries the theme of visiting New Eden, a major hub for galactic commerce and exchange located on an ancient forested world and protected by an all-encompassing sky dome.

As with previous years, the expo presents a broad range of science-fiction related role-play, entertainment, and activities and the best place to find out about all that the Expo has to offer is via the official website, where you can find information on:

Sci-Fi Expo 2021

This year’s setting a especially well considered; the regions offer plenty of open territory that gives room for event spaces set out among the canyons and woodlands that give a lot of opportunity for simple wandering and exploration. The majority of the shopping, meanwhile, is found within the New Eden city, presenting the opportunity for visitors to ramp down draw distance and shop without too burdensome a load on their viewer.

As befitting an untamed planet, New Eden is a rugged place, so be sure to follow the trails and stairs up into the hills to discover all of its secrets; and if you get lost, keep an eye out for the teleport portals – walking in to one will return yo to the main landing point (you may need to accept the event experience for these to work). So, as I’m prone to say when previewing this event: whatever your interest in science fiction, be sure to set your phaser on fun and head back to the future with a visit to the SL Sci-Fi Expo!

Sci-Fi Expo 2021

Out Shop Cancer

Also underway throughout October is the 4th annual Out Shop Cancer, a grid-wide shopping event that this year sees more that 70 creators and merchants participating. Offering a broader range of shopping opportunities than the sci-fi theme offered at the Sci-Fi Expo, Out Shop Cancer presents items for adult and child avatars, home and garden and DFS goods, and more. New for this year is a grid-wide hunt. Just find the black Out Shop Cancer shopping bags tucked away inside participating stores, pay them L$25 (all proceeds to RFL of SL / Making Strides), and claim a bag full of goodies.

For full details on the event, please refer to the Out Shop Cancer website, where you can find the complete shopping directory and full details on the hunt, together with the latest news updates.

SLurl and Information

The 2021 SL Renaissance Festival for Making Strides

via the SL Renaissance Festival 2021

The 2021 SL Renaissance Festival is currently open to visitors through until the end of Sunday, October 3rd, 2021. A signature event coordinated by the American Cancer Society, the event is in support of  Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC), an RFL of SL signature event aimed at raising awareness of the risks of breast cancer and raising funds to support research into, and treatment of, the disease.

Taking place across four regions adjoining the core American Cancer Society regions the festival presents a range of merchants, activities and entertainments linked to the medieval / renaissance periods for visitors to peruse, participate in and enjoy.

Please refer to the official SL Renaissance Festival web site for:

The jousting arena where residents can enjoy tournaments or even face Lindens and Moles at a special event on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

The event tournaments include daily rounds of jousting, archery, mounted archery, and mêlée, all of which are open to anyone who’d like to try their hand at any of them. In particular, and for those who wish to try their hand at jousting there is the added attraction of jousting against staff from Linden Lab and Moles from the Linden Department of Public Works.

Tickets to joust in this special event, which will be held between 12:00 noon and either 14:00 or 15:00 SLT on Thursday, September 30th, with tickets costing L$1,000 (proceeds to RFL of SL / Making Strides) to participate. Those from the Lab taking part comprise Constantine Linden, Derrick Linden and Patch Linden along with Abnor Mole, Alotta Mole, and Maximus Mole. Tickets can be purchased via the special kiosks at the event’s Welcome Areas.

The Tales of Heroes

As well as pavilion-based shopping within the festival’s shopping regions, visitors can also obtain special items by participating in the Stag Hunt. Just find the stag statue(s) in participating shops and in the role-play areas, and claim the goodies inside for a payment of L$25 (all payments go directly to Making Strides).

In addition, the event features:

All of which adds up to a lot to see and do! To help visitors get in the mood of the event, the landing points in the main merchant areas include a range of period costumes and accessories on sale with all funds raised again going directly to Making Strides.

URLs and SLurls

The 2020 SL Renaissance Festival for Making Strides

Banner courtesy of the SL Renaissance Festival

The 2020 SL Renaissance Festival is currently open to visitors through until the end of Sunday, October 4th, 2020, with the aim of raising funds for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC). A signature event coordinated by the American Cancer Society, MSABC is aimed at raising awareness of the risks of breast cancer and raising funds to support research into, and treatment of, the disease.

A new event for Second Life, the SL Renaissance Festival is a switch away from past MSABC events in-world. It is taking place across six regions linked to the American Cancer Society island, all of them decorated in a medieval / renaissance theme and presenting a range of merchants, activities and entertainment for visitors to peruse, participate in and enjoy.

SL Renaissance Festival: jousting arena

Please refer to the official SL Renaissance Festival web site for:

The event tournaments include daily rounds of jousting (including jousting with the Lindens on October 1st, 2020), archery, mounted archery, and mêlée, all of which are open to anyone who like to try their hand at any of them – check the official website for more details via the menu at the top of the site.

For those interested in role-play, the Kings Court Academy features a range of period role-play classes, and offers practice grounds for those wanting to try their hand at the various tournament activities, either on their own or via a scheduled class. It is also the starting point for the Conquer Trail, a path people can take on foot or horseback, running or walking, and use slingshots or rotten tomatoes to try to strike targets; when they do so, information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the services it provides is displayed.

SL Renaissance Festival: silent auction area

In addition, the event features:

  • Auctions: the festival features both a One Of A Kind and a Silent Auction, both of which are running through until Sunday, October 4th. You can view the auction items via the catalogues on the SL Renaissance Festival website, and bid on them at the festival’s auction locations:
  • A Gacha market.
  • The Trail of Heroes – breast cancer survivors and caregivers from around Second Life reveal how Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and The American Cancer Society have benefited them in their journey with the disease.
  • The Best in Helm Contest – vote for your favoured swordsman, jouster, or archer in this contest by leaving a token of your esteem (donations to Making Strides). The helmed lord or lady by receiving the most donations will win the favour of the festival lands.
  • The Stag Hunt – find the stag statue in participating shops and claim the goodies inside for only L$25 (all payments go directly to Making Strides). Note that some stores may have more than one stag statue, and statues may also be found in the role  play areas of the Ren Fest I region.
  • The Royal Court Gala – Sunday, October 4th, at 13:00 SLT.
  • Lindens At the Pillory – on  Friday, October 3rd, a number of Lindens who misbehaved during their voyage to the festival will be pilloried between 13:00-15:00 SLT, or until their fines are paid. So come tease them or, if you prefer, pity them and pay for their release (all payments go to Making Strides).
SL Renaissance Festival: information area (Ren Fest I)

All of which adds up to a lot to see and do! To help visitors get in the mood of the event, the landing points in the main merchant areas include a range of period costumes and accessories on sale for between L$1 and L$175 – all funds raised again going directly to Making Strides.

URLs and SLurls

A renaissance festival for MSABC in Second Life

Banner courtesy of the SL Renaissance Festival

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) is a global signature event coordinated by the American Cancer Society aimed at raising awareness of the risks of breast cancer and in raising funds to support research into, and treatment of, the disease. Traditionally held in the latter half of the year, in 2019 MSABC raised over US $13,600 large through two main activities – Out to Shop and The Pink Power Fest / Making Strides Walk-a-Thon.

This year, MSABC is changing things up again, and in doing so, they are also hoping to show support for, and receive it from, another of Second Life’s active communities: the medieval / renaissance community.

The Second Life Renaissance Festival in support of Strides will open its doors on Friday, September 25th, 2020 and will run through until Sunday, October 4th, 2020 inclusive, and it will offer something for everyone interested in the medieval / renaissance period, or who wants to support the global work of ACS in respect of treating and curing breast cancer.

The festival will take place across four themed regions – or kingdoms, as they are being called. They will comprise:

  • Two Kingdom Shopping Regions, which will also include the Minstrel’s Corner (the entertainment stage), and will host the Best In Helm contest and the Tale Of Heroes activity, of which more below.
  • The tournaments region.
  • The Kings Court Academy region – focused on role-play – which will also feature the Traveller’s Camp, home to the event’s Gatcha and auctions (silent and one-of-a-kind).

We’d like our events to be all inclusive, so the Best In Helm contest is open to anyone wanting to take their photo in knight’s armour. Visitors to the festival will be able to vote for their favourite knight by making a donation  through the Strides kiosk alongside their chosen knight.

The Tale Of Heroes is open to anyone in Second Life who wishes to tell their story of how Strides and / or Breast Cancer has affected them, or what it means to them.

– Nuala Maracas, Renaissance Festival co-coordinator

The tournaments region will offer a range of period tournaments – jousting, archery, mêlée, mounted archery – on a daily basis throughout the festival, and these are again open to anyone who like to try their hand at any of them.

The Kings Court Academy will feature a range of period role-play classes for those interested, and offer practice grounds for those wanting to try their hand at the various tournament activities, either on their own or via a scheduled class. It will also host the Conquer Trail, a path people can take on foot or horseback, running or walking, and use slingshots or rotten tomatoes to try to strike targets; hitting a target will provide information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the services it provides.

Renaissance Festival merchant’s payments area (post registration)

Currently, the festival is taking registrations from: sponsors, merchants interested in participating – although slots for both are running out! – and period role-play communities / groups. Details can be found on the festival’s website as follows:

Those who wish to help in organising the event can also visit the volunteer’s sign-up page. Note that this does not include any sign-up for stage managers, greeters, entertainers, bloggers, etc., – a call for these positions will be made in due course.

Further information on the festival will be made available through the Renaissance Festival website as it becomes available, and I hope to provide updates through these pages as well.

My thanks to Nuala Maracas for spending time with me to discuss the event.

RFL of SL: Strides campaigns raise over USD 13K in Second Life

via ACS / Making Strides

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has announced that the 2019 Strides Campaigns raised US $13,633 to help those dealing with breast cancer and in the search for a cure.

The total marks an impressive US $5,000 increase over the total raised in 2018. This year, ACS ran two flagship events for Making Strides, the Out Shop Cancer campaign that ran right throughout the month of October and involved stores and creators right across the grid, and the Pink Power Fest, which was kicked-off by the Strides Walk-a-thon on Saturday, October 19th and ran through until Saturday October 26th, 2019.

In addition, individuals and groups across Second Life were encouraged to organise their own events in support of Making Strides, with the top Strides Campaigns raising over $2,500 including Camping for A Cure & Bikers for BOObies.

The official announcement provides a further breakdown of campaigns and amounts raised, with the organisers offering warmth thanks to all who took part, either in the events themselves or in helping to organise them.

via the American Cancer Society

Commenting on the success of the season, an overjoyed Stingray Raymaker, Director of ACS in SL, said:

We were confident that this would inspire people who wanted to fight breast cancer in their own way, and the community certainly stepped up. We appreciate everyone who took part in this year’s campaign, and after looking at the data, we are really excited about what the future holds.

All funds raised through Strides Campaigns in Second Life are used by the American Cancer Society to contribute to our life-saving breast cancer research and breast cancer patient services.

Congratulations to all involved on achieving such a worthwhile result!

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer for the American Cancer Society in Second Life, and help their global efforts in helping cancer patients, their families and in seeking cures for cancer? Then please contact Stingray9798 Raymaker in-world or e-mail jeffrey.montegut-at-cancer.org.

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.