‘Relay For Life 2010’-Hope, love and a whole lot of fun

‘Relay For Life 2010’-Hope, love and a whole lot of fun

There can’t be many of us in second life who haven’t experienced the very real life specter of cancer.  Whether it’s been a personal battle, supporting a friend or co worker through intensive treatment or watching a loved one succumb to the disease, each of us has our own story to tell. Cancer is the great leveler -showing no regard for age, race or social background and last year, in the USA alone, there were 1,479,350 new cases diagnosed,  with cancer accounting for one in four deaths. Massive and humbling statistics. In an effort to fight cancer and to help financially and emotionally support the victims of this most cruel of diseases, ‘The American Cancer Society’ hold annual ‘Relay for Life’ events across the country and millions of people give their time and money to help raise funds.

Since starting in 1985, when surgeon Dr. Gordy Klatt decided to run continuously for twenty four hours to raise funds for cancer research, International ‘Relay For Life’ has been embraced by people across the globe, with events held in 20 countries outside of the United States and in Second Life, the community gathers together each year to help the cause too. In fact, ‘Relay For Life’ events have found strong supporter networks in SL, with hundreds of residents donating their time, talent, skills and experience to help fundraise. In 2008, ‘Relay For Life of Second Life’ raised $215,000 – surpassing its total for the previous three years combined, and now in its 6th year, it’s hoped that this figure will be exceeded with a goal target of $300,000. With 93 teams taking part in the actual relays this year, it looks set to be a record breaking year.

This year’s key theme is ‘Wishing On A Cure’ and to kick start the four month long fundraising season off in style, the glamorous surroundings of the Patch Thibaud Auditorium played host to a glittering opening ceremony. Addressing the large audience, RFL Event Chair, Tayzia Abattoir, welcomed us all with an impassioned   speech that had many in the crowd in tears. “Everyone has personal reasons why they Relay.” She told us. “Whether they have been directly touched by cancer, indirectly touched, or just know what a horrible disease it is and pray that people do not have to face it and want to help in any way they can. We are all one family here. We fight the same battle.”Following Tayzia, other members from the 60 strong in world RFL committee explained how all the proceeds from 2010’s RFL will be used to benefit the millions of people and their families affected by cancer each year. All speakers received rapturous applause from crowd, proving that the residents of SL are some of the most caring citizens on earth.

Cancer may be a very serious issue, but the RFL team and all its supporters in world are determined that hope, love and a whole lot of fun, are the biggest weapons in the war against cancer. Over the next few months, thousands of events and attractions will take place in SL to help highlight the cause and everyone at the opening ceremony was certainly in the mood to party! Following a standing ovation from the crowd for venue owner and BOSL CEO Frolic Mills, singer ScarlettLa Roux took to the stage, officially launching proceedings with a superb rendition of a Melissa Etheridge song called ‘I Run For Life’. The combination of heartfelt lyrics and ScarlettLa’s blues infused, sweet voice struck a chord with the audience.

After her thirty minute set, which was well received by the audience, next to take place under the spotlights was singer Damian Carbenell, while glamorous dancers from Dazzlers Inc accompanied him with a delightful routine. Then, to shouts and wild applause from the excited crowd, SL’s premier rock singer, Mankind Tracer, strode onto the stage bringing the audience to fever pitch with his usual mix of original songs, charisma and undeniable vocal talent. Mankind explained why, despite his busy schedule, he is so committed to lending his talents for this cause.

“The events that RFL put on are always fun, bringing in a lot of people who share a common cause.” He confirmed “And year after year, Relay For Life have shown themselves to be consistent in putting on benefits to raise much needed money. People know they can trust that the money raised will be handled properly by the good people running the events.”

The unity and camaraderie of everyone involved in the opening party was evident to see and donations flowed in from people reaching into their virtual wallets to donate to the cause. With a tribute to the work of RL fashion designer Alexander McQueen following the initial ceremony featuring unique couture made especially for this event, RFL  2010 has got off to the best possible start.


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