March 8th 2015 saw the kick off of Second Life’s 11th Season of Relay for Life. The event featured a series of festivities including speeches from keynote speakers, live music and the parade of teams.
This 134 teams from all over the world came together to take part in this year’s relay season with $69,000 already raised. The kick off began with the retelling of Dr Gordon Klatt, the first relayer, who raised money for cancer research by walking around his local track field for 24 hours in 1985. For the past 30 years Klatt concept for RFL lives on through over 4 million people in over 20 different countries and through the virtual spaces of Second Life and inWorldz. Second Life is home to one of the biggest relay seasons online and has raised $2.5 million its beginning.
The Kick Off featured a remembrance for those who lost their battle with cancer stating, “ We remember those we have lost to this disease. They remain in the Kingdom of our hearts, ever present, ever motivating us to make a difference in our future. We remember them and find strength in our community of relayers.”
It is over 10 years since Second Life began to host Relay For Life within its virtual space. They comment about the progression of Second Life through Relay for Life, “ Even in a virtual world there is progression Event the buildings look so primitive. Look how far we’ve come. We are proud of our past but we move forward.”
Relay For Life of Second Life began in 2004 by resident Jade Lily, who realized that Second Life had the potential to be good tool for fund-raising. After a charity event held by Lily, in which raised a 5000 linden dollars, she approached the American Cancer Society and pitched the idea of using the virtual world as a platform to promote RFL and building a community. At first the American Cancer Society was unsure of Second Life but Lily was able to convince them that it was a good opportunity. They agreed and the RFL SL community began to grow rapidly. Since then every year the American Cancer society works very closely with RFL SL, helping them and monitoring the events, making RFL SL one of the biggest charity event online and offline.
The Relay for Life of Second Life seasons runs from March to August, for information on all the Relay for Life of SL teams, check out their website. For more information on the American Cancer Society look at their website, they also have helpful tips on how to take part in Relay for Life and Educational information on Cancer and Cancer research.