The annual RFL Christmas Expo opened its gates on December 1st, and will run through until December 12th. I’m not sure if it is me, but RFL events PR seems to have been a little low-key in 2016, to the point that this event almost entirely slipped my mind!
However, if it had by chance escaped your attention as well, there’s still the weekend to make the most of it, and to hop over, explore the four regions, buy goodies, join in the fun and donate to RFL of SL.
A highlight of the Expo is the Holidays of Hope Ball, now in its 7th year, which will take place on Sunday, December 11th, from 15:00 through 18:00 SLT. There will be special raffle baskets for which tickets can be purchased, together with random door prizes, which in 2015 totalled almost L$50,000 in value, while the 2015 raffle baskets were each worth more than L$35,000 each and included items such as homes, designer outfits and L$5000 gift certificates among their goodies.
Holiday formal attire is requested for the Ball, which will take place at the Polar Express Grand Station, high over the Expo regions.
Fifty years ago on September 8th, 1966, a new science-fiction show started airing on American television. Called simply Star Trek, it started as a humble weekly series which had already been through a difficult gestation period (1964-1966) and eventually lasted just three seasons – but went on to become a world-wide phenomenon, almost instantly recognisable in most countries and spawned a host of follow-on films and series, up to and including the re-imagining of the original under the guidance of J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin.
I’m an unbashed Star Trek fan. I wasn’t around when the Original Series first aired, but I did discover it in my teens, and was instantly attracted to the multi-cultural message aboard the Starship Enterprise and to Kirk’s buffness, Spock’s sexy-cool logic, and McCoy’s irascible nature and deeply human caring for others.
More than just science-fictiony drama (which at the time was pretty much summed up by The Monster Of The Week), Trek dared to challenged people to think. It offered commentary on events of the time – discrimination on the basis of race and / or colour, the dangers of military intervention, and so on. At the same time it offered a vision of the future where humanity really is a multi-cultural society driven by the ideals of tolerance, discovery and hope. Messages and ideals which are still very much relevant today as we see a world around us increasingly fragmented and divided.
Such is the show’s influence over the decades, that it is fitting to mark its anniversary – and for those of us who enjoy Trek and science fiction in-world – that the Second Life Sci-Fi Alliance is hosting a special Star Trek centric event for Relay for Life of Second Life. Trek For a Cure is taking place across three regions, each named for a famous planet from Trek lore: Vulcan, Qonos, and Risa, with the latter reflecting its role as a shore leave environment in The Next Generation by being the hub of Trek For a Cure’s entertainment.
Running through until Sunday, September 11th, the event is home to over 80 booths set up by residents to promote their Trek and sci-fi groups, content made in world and services, with the added bonus of visitors being able to support RFL of Second Life.
The event schedule can be found at the SL Sci-Fi Alliance website, and the main teleport hub can be found at the centre of Risa – most of the facilities are on the ground, but the ballroom and the starships battle area are up in the sky.
So – if you’re a Trek fan, a sci-fi fan or simply want to support RFL of SL, why not head over the Trek For a Cure and celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary?
The RFL of Second Life Relay Weekend for 2016 is upon us, and will feature everything one would expect from the event – walks, celebrations, remembrances, the luminaria ceremony, interviews, music, dance, and more, all in aid of the American Cancer Society in its efforts to eradicate cancer.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple of sneak peeks around the regions that make up this year’s walk, together with the activities regions, and they really are quite extraordinary this year, featuring some stunning builds and themes which are truly eye-catching.
Activities will kick off at 10:00 SLT on Saturday, July 16th and will feature 24 hours of themed laps, activities and entertainment. The weekend will wrap up with a party at 13:00 SLT Sunday, July 17th.
Listed below are some of the main events scheduled for the weekend – but remember that there are relay laps, entertainment and more going on across the entire weekend, so please refer to the event schedule for full details. Information can also be found at the 2016 RFL Welcome Centre space station. All times are, as usual, SLT.
11:00 SLT Celebrate: The first lap of Relay weekend begins with the celebrate ceremony. A Survivor/Caregiver honour walk
21:00 SLT Remember – The Luminaria Ceremony: a solemn reflection with readings and inspirational music as the regions are darkened in remembrance of those and their loved ones who have lost their battles to cancer or are still battling it; all are invited to participate. Please walk the track in silence
Sunday, July 17th 2016:
06:00 SLT Fight Back: Collect your Fight Back Kits and Fight Back Flags available at the Relay Information Stations along the track, and pledge to save a life: your own, a friends, a family member, or someone you don’t even know yet
10:00 SLT Closing Ceremony: a closing tribute to al that RFL of SL has accomplished.
The following landmarks will also carry you directly to locations of particular interest in the RFL regions:
Be sure to stop by there and find out more about them as well.
Where To Start
If you’re new to RFL of SL weekends, probably the best place to start is the space station Welcome Area, mentioned above, or the American Cancer Society region or the RFL Information Centre. All three provide a range of information to help you get started.
The 2nd annual Unmasking a Cure Medieval Faire opened its gates on Friday, June 17th, and will run through until Sunday, June 26th. Whether you are into medieval role-play or not, the Faire is offering a host of events and activities right throughout the week, with something for just about everyone to try or enjoy – all with the aim of raising funds for RFL of SL.
The event, organised by a dedicated team of Unmasking A Cure RFL Team volunteers, features a wide range of events and activities and a programme of entertainments. There is, for example, the 4th annual UAC Grand Joust and the Round Robin En Garde! tournament, which is open to anyone for a L$150 donation to RFL of SL. There are also melees, mounted archery, horse races, live entertainment, DJs … for the complete programme, it’s probably best to refer to the Faire’s Events pages.
Activities are focused around the Village square with its merchant stalls providing a host of Medieval goodies, including special items available through RFL vendors. Around this sit the main event areas for the Faire – the jousting tilts, the start of the relay horse racing track, the melee battleground and the En Garde! tournament area, together with meadows and gardens in which to enjoy quieter moments.
You can find out more about the DJs and the live entertainers through the Unmasking a Cure website, as well is obtaining more information on participating in activities. So, in a week when entertainment, celebrations and fun are liable to be foremost in people’s mind, why not take time to go all Medieval, and help Unmask a Cure?
The Hope: A Relay for Life Photo Exhibition opened it doors on Saturday, April 9th, and will run through until Saturday April 16th, inclusive. For the event, 25 Second Life photographers have paired with 25 cancer survivors and caregivers, to provide an exhibition of extraordinary portraiture coupled with deeply personal stories about dealing with cancer.
The exhibition has been organised by Catalina Staheli, and builds on her 2015 exhibition entitled Stand (which you can read about here). Greatly expanded, Hope is featured in a magnificent gallery set within a landscaped area on Saint Kitts Isle (making it reachable by water for those who like to sail the Blake Sea and points north, and who are looking for a destination).
Built around a central courtyard garden, the gallery provides two floors of exhibition space, with each featured caregiver and / or survivor featured in at least one wall-mounted portrait, their stories available from free-standing signs, the details of the artist who created their picture(s) available from plaques on the wall alongside each display.
With broad hallways, a glass roof, and plenty of opportunities to sit and admire the work on offer as well as tour the various display spaces, the gallery offers a bright, light space, rich in colour courtesy of the plants and the RFL of SL purple. All of which presents visitors with an exceptionally eye-catching environment without detracting in any way from the images on display.
Throughout the exhibition halls are RFL of SL donation kiosks, information givers on in-world support teams, the work of the ACS, and so on. To further help raise funds for RFL of SL, a silent auction is running throughout the exhibition period, with each of the exhibiting photographers offering a portrait package / photo-shoot opportunity to their respective highest bidders. In addition, there will be the opportunity to bid on a place in the autumn course with Visionaire Institute of Photography, and single portraits by special guest artists Skip Staheli, Magissa Denver, and Natzuka Miliandrovic.
Alongside of Skip, Magissa and Natzuka, the artists participating in the exhibition are: Tempest Rosca, Addison Summerwind, Grazia Horwitz, Calypso Applewhyte, Wendz Tempest, Isa Messioptra, AlexAvion, Roxi Richez, Polly Elan, Pam Astonia, mysterr resident, Lam Erin, Roy Mildor, Cubito Smit, Annie1111, Caitlin Tobias, Kaelyn Alecto, Wildstar Beaumont, WrenNoir Cerise, PinkRayne, Reya Darkstone, and of course Catalina.
The featured caregivers / survivors are: Lizzy Gracemount, Nevar Lobo, Doodlez Doobie, Thalia Lupindo, sedusaK, AnnieDrogyne, Vicki Coleslaw, Alia Whitfield, Annakari Genesis, Dian4ma Shen, aphroditestarr, LadyKay Gable, Catalysis, LouLouBreeze, Madonna Milena, Shiran Sabra, Renee Riva, Argus Collingwood, Vickie Maidstone, Sidonie Carlberg, Cathy10 Longoria, Ciaobella Mirabella, DollEyes Barbosa and BellaEsmeCullen.
Overall, an outstanding and moving exhibition, and one which should be visited during its run.
Running through until Sunday, April 16th, is A Stand for Hope, in aid of Relay for Life of Second Life 2016. The event is in two parts: the Stand Up Best DJ on the Grid competition, and Hope: A 2016 Relay for Life Photography Exhibition.
Stand Up Best DJ Competition
Having kicked-off on March 12th, the Stand Up Best DJ competition is now reaching the final stages, which will take place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday the 26th / 27th of March and the 2nd / 3rd of April respectively.
Each weekend for the last two weeks, seven DJs have been going head-to-head for they title of Best DJ on the Grid 2016 and a prize purse, providing the best in music and entertainment whilst raising money for RFL of SL in the process. The standings are determined by a combination of judges’ scores and total donations for RFL of SL raised; with two rounds still to go, you can see the overall standings here, and learn about the seven participating DJs.
The schedule for Best DJ can be found on the A Stand for Hope events calendar, and you can join in the fun, dancing and fund-raising at the Best DJ in SL street party venue in-world over the next two weekend, as noted above. Already over L$250,000 has been raised across the first two weekends of heats, so with our help, the competition could raise a cool L$500,000 (roughly US $2,000) for RFL of SL.
Hope: A Relay for Life Photo Exhibition
The Hope: A Relay for Life Photo Exhibition launches on Saturday, April 9th, and will run through until Saturday April 16th, inclusive. For the event, 25 Second Life photographers have paired with 25 cancer survivors and caregivers. The survivors and caregivers will share their story of dealing with the impact of cancer in their lives, with the photographers supplying a portrait of each of them.
The stories and portraits will be displayed in a special gallery from April 9th through 16th, and to help raise money for RFL of SL, a silent auction will be held during the exhibition period. In it, the photographers will be offering a portrait package / photo-shoot opportunity to their respective highest bidders. In addition, there will be the opportunity to bid on a spot in the autumn course with Visionaire Institute of Photography, and single portraits by special guest artists Skip Staheli, Magissa Denver, and Natzuka Miliandrovic.