The dates and initial details of the Relay for Life 2022 Renaissance Festival and Sci-Fi Expo, both of which take place in Second Life, have each been made available over the course of the last month, as have initial registration details, etc.
Both the Renaissance Festival are focused on raising funds as a part of the Relay for Life Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign, and the dates for both events are as follows:
Sci-Fi Expo: Friday, October 14th through to Sunday, October 23rd, 2022, inclusive.
The Renaissance Festival offers something for everyone interested in the medieval / renaissance period. It will take place across multiple regions – or kingdoms, presenting a wide range of activities, including: shopping, role-play, auctions, tournaments and entertainment.
The theme for this year’s event is The Silk Road, and t following registration opportunities are now open:
Merchants – a range of packages with assorted options. All fees are a 100% donation to the American Cancer Society.
Role-play packages – designed for Medieval / Renaissance / Norse & Similar Genre Roleplay Regions & Guilds & Alliances & Groups who wish to have a presences at the SL Renaissance Festival. Packages are prices at LS $2,500 each.
With the theme of Voyage to the Stars, the 2022 Sci-Fi Expo promises to carry visitors aboard The Nexus, a mobile space station and one of the crowning jewels of the United Earth Council fleet, as it continues its journey of exploring the vast uncharted reaches of interstellar space.
Applications are now open for the following:
Exhibitors – with packages ranging from L$1,500 to L$50,000. Please read the FAQ below the package descriptions when applying. Applications available through until October 10th.
Events and Perfromers – DJs, singer, dance troupes, and entertainer as invited to apply for a performance slot at the epxo – with applications open through until October 10th.
Bloggers – applications are open through until October 1st, and the application page also outlines requirements bloggers are asked to meet.
About Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the American Cancer Society’s premier event to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. But it’s more than just the name of a walk – it describes the amazing progress we’re making together to defeat this disease. Since 1993, 4 million walkers have raised more than US $280 million through Making Strides. In 2007 alone, nearly 500,000 walkers across the country collected more than US $50 million to help fight breast cancer. Learn more here.
The 2022 Second Life Sci-Fi Con departed spacedock on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022, and will remain in orbit through until Sunday, May 29th, 2022 in aid of The American Cancer Society.
Now in its 14th year, the Sci-Fi Con is taking place across 9 regions (including the main hub, and carries the theme of Brave New Future.
The Sci-Fi Con is … the largest gathering of science fiction fans, role-players, creators, merchants, and entertainers in Second Life! The Con covers sci-fi and all its sub-genres like horror, steampunk, post-apocalypse, cyberpunk, superheroes, and even a little fantasy thrown in for good measure. We all come together in peaceful unity to celebrate the things we love, the possibilities of the future, and most importantly, to support the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Second Life’s quest to achieve a world without cancer.
– from the Sci-Fi Con’s website
For this year, each of the eight shopping regions for the convention carries its own theme (the Hub region also feature the main event stage):
All of the regions can be reached via the teleport kiosks at the main hub, or by walking between them, with most following a broadly similar layout with their landing point / info area towards the centre, and the merchant and group stores set out around it within an environment intended to reflect the region theme.
The best place to find out about planned events running throughout the convention – DJ sessions, movies, quizzes and more – is via the Event Calendar (all times SLT).
This year’s convention includes the Stargate Hunt: stargates are hidden in plain sight throughout the convention regions. Touching them when found will give you a number. Get all six numbers, and use them to dial a secret gate address at the main stargate dial home device (DHD) to travel to a secret location where you can claim your prize.
Those who wish can also purchase convention T-shirts both in-world at the convention, and out-world as well, or pick up a convention bag.
So, prepare your away team / landing party, set phasers on fun and head over to the Sci-Fi Convention.
RelayStock runs to Second Life from Friday, May 13th through Sunday, May 15th inclusive, once again bringing a weekend of Peace Love and Hope and great music as the 2022 to help raise funds for Relay For Life of Second Life and the world-wide work of the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Paying homage to the summer of 1969 and all that was Woodstock, RelayStock is hosted by the RFL team of SL Relay Rockers and brings together Relay teams from all across across Second Life for a celebration of the Relay season. Teams raise their banners above makeshift tents and old VW campers as they gather for the three days of music and fun – and we’re all invited!
15:00 – Biology Club
16:30 – DJ Scottland
18:00 – Quartz: LIVE
19:00 – DJ Corruptor Annamemnon
10:30 – DJ Melina Firehawk
12:00 Noon – DJ Stormy Dench
13:00 – Keeba & Tiny Maniacs: LIVE
14:00 – DJ Cynthia Farshore
15:30 – DJ Marius
17:00 – DJ Myst.Xi
18:30 – DJ Dulcinea
10:00 – DJ Primi
11:30 – DJ Caesey
13:00 – Max Kleene: LIVE
14::00 – Todd Rutth: LIVE
15:00 – DJ Kayla
17::00 – DJ Trader Whiplash
Bid Lindens (and Moles!) Bald
2022 marks the 6th year that the Lindens have joined in the fun at RelayStock through Bid a Linden Bald (BALB), a further way of raising funds by bidding to see a team of Lindens and Moles go bald (in-world!) for a month.
This year, BALB opens the the start of RelayStock and runs through until May 19th, when the losing team will face the scissors! 2022 see a total of five mixed teams of Lindens and Moles participating, and bidders again determine who lose their hair by making donations (aka “bidding”) to the kiosk(s) of the team (or teams!) they don’t want to see in-world with depilated domes.
The five teams from the Lab / LDPW participating this year comprise:
Team 2: Signal, Kreide, Mister Mole, Madori, Chipper, Obi, Cosmic, Simon
Team 3: Patch, Vanessa, Kady, CyndiB, Star Mole, Theresa, Whitney, Cammy
Team 4: Derrick, Sequoia, Jbo, Milli Mole, Frosty, Wendi, Kit
Team 5: Maximus Mole, Anna Mole, Vix, Volo, Spots, Dottie, Tommy
Last year the Linden and Mole teams combined to raise L$840,639, or US $3,361, raising the event’s all-time total to more than L$3.5 million.
RelayStock Linden Bears and Relay Rock Cows
This year, as well as making donations to the BALB team kiosks, people can also participate BALB by purchasing a Limited Edition RelayStock Linden Bear pack. Offered at L$250, each pack contains a pair of bears: one free standing and the other huggable. To obtain a pack, simply pay the vendor alongside the kiosk for the Linden / Mole BALB team you wish to support, and accept your bears!
Also available this year are the Relay Rocker Collectable Hero Cows. Offered at L$50 there are 6 to collect, or for L$150, you can get all 6 + a special bonus Hero Cow. Find their vendors (show below) on the hay bales a short walk along the track from the BALB area.
So, let the spirit of the Age of Aquarius enter your life this weekend, don your kaftan (and galoshes!), put flowers in your hair and head on over to RelayStock for great music, great dancing, great fun – all in a good cause!
The dates and initial details of the Relay for Life 2021 Renaissance Festival and Sci-Fi Expo, both of which take place in Second Life, have each been made available over the course of the last month, as have initial registration details, etc.
Both the Renaissance Festival are focused on raising funds as a part of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign, and the dates for both events are as follows:
Renaissance Festival: Friday September 24th through to Sunday, October 3rd, 2021, inclusive.
Sci-Fi Expo: Friday, October 8th through to Sunday, October 17th, inclusive.
The Renaissance Festival offers something for everyone interested in the medieval / renaissance period. It will take place across multiple regions – or kingdoms, if the 2020 format is retained – presenting a wide range of activities, including: shopping, role-play, auctions, tournaments and entertainment.
Registrations for the event are now available for (follow the links to learn more):
Merchants – a range of packages ranging in price from L$2,500 through to L$12,500 (the top-level options are now sold out), with assorted options. All fees are a 100% donation to the American Cancer Society.
Role-play packages – designed for Medieval / Renaissance / Norse & Similar Genre Roleplay Regions & Guilds & Alliances & Group
who wish to have a presences at the SL Renaissance Festival. Packages are prices at LS $2,500 each.
In addition, special sign-up opportunities are now open for:
Visiting Royals – Special Royals of the Day opportunities for breast cancer survivors and caregivers, with reserved seating at tournaments, special guests as other events and activities.
Tales of Heroes – the opportunity for breast cancer survivors and caregivers or physical world supporters of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer to share their stories, with a special booth at the event with which to tell their story.
With the theme of Journey to New Eden, the 2021 Sci-Fi Expo promises to carry visitors to the frontier world of New Eden where they will find the biggest sci fi designers and shops, live performances, roleplaying events, and more to enjoy.
Merchant registrations are now open, with fees ranging from L$1,500 through to L$12,500, depending on the package, with 100% of the registration fee going to the American Cancer Society.
It’s a weekend of Peace Love and Hope and great music as the 8th annual RelayStock takes place between Friday, May 14th and Sunday, May 16th inclusive, once again raising funds for Relay For Life of Second Life and the world-wide work of the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Paying homage to Woodstock, and hosted by the Relay Rockers, RelayStock brings together Relay teams from diverse communities across Second Life for a celebration of the Relay season. Teams raise their banners above makeshift tents and old VW campers as they gather for three days of Peace Love Music and Hope.
A long-time staple of the annual Relay for Life season in Second Life, Relay Stock is also the venue to two special events – Bid a Linden Bald and the Celebrate Remember Fight-Back Top DJ Fund-raising Competition.
Bid A Linden Bald and Obtain a Limited Edition Linden Bear
2021 marks the 5th year that the Lindens have joined in the fun at RelayStock through Bid a Linden Bald – and this year the event has a couple of extra for folk to appreciate: the Moles of the LDPW are joining the fun, and those making donations via the special Bid a Linden Bald kiosks can receive a Limited Edition Linden Bear!
As the name suggests, Bid A linden Bald sees a number of teams from Linden Lab challenge one another to see who can raise the most in Linden Dollar donations for RFL of SL. At the end of the event, the team raising the least amount of money see their avatars get their hair shorn by the team raising the most. Or as the event advertising puts it:
Top team gets the scissors – lowest team gets the haircut!
The six teams from the Lab participating this year comprise:
Team 1: Alexa, Dottie, Izzy, Mint, Rhea, TJ, Wendi
Team 2: Cammy, Ellie, Kit, Oberwolf, Rocko, Tommy, Whitney
Team 3: Dakota, Evie, Kreide, Obi, Simon, Vanessa
Team 4: Darcy, Grumpity, Kristin, Patch, Spots, Vix
Team 5: Derrick, Hobbes, Maggie, Patsy, Theresa, Volo
For those who have been asking about the Lab’s new Board members and their interest in Second Life, it’s worth pointing out that Team 2’s Oberwolf Linden is in fact Board member and Executive Chairman Brad Oberwager, who is getting fully into the swing of the event and showing further support for activities in Second Life, along with the Lab’s new Chief of Staff, Cammy Bergren (Cammy Linden), who is also a member of Team 2!
Since its inauguration in 2017 (at the Second Life Birthday event) Bid A Linden Bald has helped to raise L$3,000,000 (approx. US $12,000) for Relay For Life and the ACS.
Every year, I look forward to the Rockers’ Bid Me Bald fundraiser. This is one of the longest running team fundraisers in our Relay’s history and it has become a touchstone moment for so many of us. I have enjoyed watching the event grow and evolve over the years and am grateful to the Lindens for getting into the spirit of this time-tested fundraising challenge.
– Stingray Raymaker, ACS representative in Second Life
Biding is now open at the RelayStock event space, and will remain so through until Wednesday May 19th, when, at 12:00 SLT, the team to lose their hair will be announced and the Official Haircutting will take place (and all are invited!).
Bid A Linden Bald Linden Bears
This year, people can bid by making a donation directly to each team’s kiosk, or by making a L$250 donation to the accompanying Limited Edition Bid A Linden Bald Linden Bear kiosk and receive a pair of Limited Edition Linden Bears.
Designed by Chronos Mole, these comprise a wearable Animesh Bear and a seated static bear for home décor. It would have perhaps been nice if the wearable bear was a little smaller and rigged to sit, say, on your shoulder rather than just a simple “carry” pose that is easily overridden by any walking animation, but they are nevertheless a cute pair, and already proving to be very popular.
Bid a Linden Bald can be found at the large barn immediately adjacent to the RelayStock landing point.
Celebrate Remember Fight-Back Top DJ Fund-raising Competition Grand Final
The CRFB event features Club and Radio DJs from all over Second Life as they try to see who among them can raise the most Linden Dollars in support of the Relay For Life, with RelayStock hosting the Grand Final between the two top fund-raisers.
In 2020, DJ Baggie and DJ Kayla went head-to-head in their sets at RelayStock, raising more than L$330,000 in the process, with DJ Kayla taking home top honours. This year will see finalists DJ Tanis and DJ Stormy compete in back-to-back sets on Sunday, May 17th.
The event’s activities line up as follows (all times SLT – check the official event page for any late updates):
Friday May 14th
Saturday May 15th
Sunday May 16th
13:00: DJ Zen Greywolf
14:30: DJ Melinia Firehawk
16:00: Keeba & Maniacs – LIVE
17:00 : Quartz – LIVE
18:00: DJ Sasha Fairywren
19:30: DJ Kewl
09:00: Shay Dezno-Gary Jonstone-LIVE
10:30 Noon: DJ Kayla
Noon: DJ Corruptor
13:30: DJ Selene Jashan
15:00-16:00: Todd Rumsford – LIVE
16:00-17:30: DJ Jennylynn Capalini
17:30-19:00: DJCynthia Farshore
19:00-20:30: DJ Toocool
20:30-22:00: DJ Stephanie
09:00-10:30: DJ Caesey Sawson
10:30-12:00 Noon: DJ Rora
Noon-13:30: Brisas Ar – LIVE
1:30PM – Max Kleene – LIVE
2:00PM – CRFB FINALIST – DJ Tanis
3:30PM – CRFB FINALIST-DJ Stormy
5:00PM – Trader Whiplash – Time Machine
7:30PM – DJ Mattie Carlson
So, let the spirit of the Age of Aquarius enter your life this weekend, don your kaftan (and galoshes!), put flowers in your hair and head on over to RelayStock for great music, great dancing, great fun – all in a good cause!
The 27th edition of Lab Gab live streamed on Friday, June 5th, and featured members of the Second Life Relay for Life team Stingray9798 Raymaker, Trager Alter, MamaP Beerbaum, and Nikki Mathieson, to mark the 2020 Relay weekend (which you can read about here). They were interviewed by co-hosts for the session, Strawberry Linden and Patch Linden.
The official video of the segment is available via You Tube, and is embedded at the end of this article. The following is a summary of the key topics discussed and responses to questions asked.
About the RFL Team
Trager Alter has been directly involved in Relay for Life of SL since 2017 after being introduce to Stingray by MammaP. He’s been directly involved in Relay Refresh – telling the stories of people who have faced and survived cancer.
MammaP became involved with Relay for Life of Second Life at a time when her father was suffering from cancer. It gave her the opportunity to do something practical to help raise money for cancer research whilst simultaneously caring doe her father in the physical world.
Nikki Mathieson joined SL alongside of MamaP, and became enamoured with the platform, the opportunities it offers, and realised that it offered huge potential for Relay for Life, and became involved in RFL of RL for that reason.
Stingray came to SL through the American Cancer Society, having been the manager for RFL’s on-line content. He was asked to look into RFL activities in SL as a result of RFL of SL volunteers working with ACS’s Innovations Team, and everything had reached a point where the Innovation Team were ready to hand it over to the ACS Relay Team, and he was asked to take the lead, so becoming the official liaison between RFL of SL and ACS.
What is the Relay Weekend?
Every year, Relay for Life raises money for the work of the American Cancer Society via a season of events. Many of these are run by individual Relay Teams formed by Second Life residents, and some are “mega events” (such as the Home and Garden Expo, Fantasy Faire, the Sci-Fi Convention, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Xmas Expo).
The Relay Weekend is the culmination of those events held during the core Relay season (February to June), where all the teams, large and small come together alongside the RFL track, each team with its own parcel to promote the work in providing care, support and treatment for sufferers of cancer in all its forms and their families and carers.
The event carries the ideal of Relay events in the physical world by having members of each team take turns to walk around an in-world track for the full 24 hours of the event. This is to symbolise two things:
When someone is dealing with cancer, they are no doing it alone, there are others who can support them and be with them.
The 24-hour aspect is recognition that cancer never sleeps, and the quest for cures to it cannot rest either.
The camp sites and themed regions all offer opportunities to socialise, to make friends and to learn more about cancer and how it can affect lives, be treated, etc., and the role of the ACS in all of this.
How does the Weekend Differ from Physical World RFL Events?
Abbreviated history of Relay:
In May 1985, Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, raised money for ACS by walking around the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound for 24 hours, covering approximately 83 miles around the track.
Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him.
After this event, Klatt thought about how other people could participate in a similar event in their own community. He recruited a small team of people to host the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer, and from this Relay for Life grew.
Relay for Life events now take place in some 30 countries around the world.
Events generally comprise:
A Survivor Lap, which starts the Relay event.
An Opening Lap, in which all the participants take a lap around the track
A Luminaria Ceremony, usually with a candlelight vigil
A “Fight Back” Ceremony, in which participants pledge to take specific actions against cancer.
The SL Relay Weekend comprises the same format and key activities. But differs in execution:
It does not require so much central logistical organisation and management.
It does however, require far more infrastructure coordination.
It is effectively a bigger event, both in terms of virtual vs. physical size (the 2020 track, for example, equates to some 6 miles), and in terms of the numbers of people participating.
Teams are able to do more than “just” camp and walk the track: they can directly support fund-raising by organising and running their own mini-events and activities.
It is a fully international event.
What is the Luminaria Ceremony?
It is the hour of the event (started at 21:00 on the Saturday of the Relay Weekend, roughly half-way through the weekend.
At that time, the track is darkened, and everyone in the Relay Regions are asked not to engage in open text or voice chat but to walk the track in silence or stand to one side.
During the hour, the names of those to be remembered, as submitted by the Luminaria Dedication Form that has been available for some time before each Relay Weekend, are read out over the event audio channel (which can be best listened through via the T1 Radio pop-up media player).
It is a time for people to reflect on how cancer has touched them personally, to recall those they’ve lost to the disease, or someone who is facing it as a part of their life, or someone who has seen it enter remission.
Also honoured throughout the weekend are the names hovering above the Luminaria lanterns that line either side of the track, and through which residents can make a donation to RFL of SL (minimum L$50) and add a name / dedication.
How Has the SARS-C0V-2 Pandemic Affected ACS?
Like most non-profit organisations world-wide, ACS relays on large-scale, multi-people fund-raising events, with Relay For Life being the largest annual event for ACS, with the primary RFL fund-raising period world-wide being April-May.
SARS-CoV-2 has therefore significantly impacted RFL both as the ACS’ main means of raising funds, and the amount of funds overall that are flowing into the organisation on a daily basis.
RFL of SL and Second Life users – and their families and friends – are therefore critical to the mission of ACS, by:
Engaging in events such as the Relay Weekend and donating money.
And / or by visiting RFL of SL page at the RFL website and making a donation.
ACS and Relay teams around the world have recognised that RFL of SL is now the spear of fund-raising efforts.
Second Life users have rallied to this call, at the time of writing, RFL of SL has raised around US $275,000.
Overall, RFL of SL has raised some US $4 million (around L$1 billion) during the years it has been operating.
RFL of SL Events
RFL of SL comprises a range of events, most of which take place during the core in-world fund-raising season between February and June each year.
This period includes the majority of the mega events (Home and Garden, Fantasy Faire, Sci-Fi Convention and the Relay Weekend.
There are also all the team events held across SL.
There is also the Xmas Expo and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in October, which is to be expanded to have its own Renaissance mega event.
In terms of fund raising, Fantasy Faire remains the biggest mega event for in Second Life, with Making Strides also a focused and effective fund-raiser.
Outside of these, mega and large events tend to evolve and change. There used to be a major RFL of SL clothing / fashion event, for example, and when breedables became very popular in SL, there was a dedicated Breedables Fair.
The days of relay has also proved popular among communities wishing to support RFL / ACS. This started as the 5 days of relay in 2019 and had to be expanded to the 10 days of relay in 2020 to accommodate everything.
Where Do All the Donations Go?
Kiosks for RFL of SL are set up to allow events and teams see how much they have raised and contributed.
When a donation is made, it briefly goes to the kiosk holder account, but then is immediately paid out of that account and into the ACS fund account.
RFL of SL merchant vendors work on the same principle of payment in, then immediate transfer of the amount to the ACS fund raising account.
Funds are cashed out from the ACS L$ account in s similar manner: they are converted to US dollars and then process credited to ACS, not to any intermediary account.
When the funds are received by ACS, there is a certain amount that has to cover expenses (e.g. the running costs associated with having a presence in SL), but all other funds beyond this go directly to supporting ACS in its various missions.
Some of the money raised may be directed at a specific programme, as is the case with Making Strides, Fantasy Faire and the Xmas Expo:
Money raised by Making Strides goes directly to the ACS breast cancer mission.
In 2018 / 2019 funds raised be Fantasy Faire went directly into the Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel in Kenya (see here for an initial report on this project from 2018).
This year, the US $75,000 raised by Fantasy Faire is reserved for use in the ACS global mission.
Similarly, the funds raised by the Christmas Expo are earmarked for the ACS child cancer programme.
Funds not earmarked for specific missions / programmes is referred to as “purple money” and goes towards the ACS cancer research mission in the United States. ACS is believed to be the largest funder of cancer research in the world outside of the US government.
Within SL, the funds pay for ACS island and all the resources, facilities and support than can be offered through the island directly to cancer sufferers and cancer care workers in-world, the Cancer Survivors support group, etc.
How Can SL Communities Get Involved and Help?
Individuals can attend RFL of SL events and donate through kiosks, make purchases (where available), etc.