Cancer deaths rose to 10 million globally in 2019. Cancer was the second leading cause of death, after heart disease, in the United States, with nearly 600,000 deaths. Team One More Light is a SecondLife team that helps raise money to support the real-life Relay for Life organization.
Relay For Life of SecondLife is the largest virtual event in the world and in 2020 was ranked 5th among more than 5000 Relay for Life events. Since 2004, Relay for Life of SL has raised more than ONE BILLION LINDENS. That’s more than $4 MILLION DOLLARS in support of the American Cancer Society.
In hopping around the Grid a few weeks back, I landed in the backyard of the Schitt Family. Lene Schitt, the matriarch of the clan, was orchestrating a BBQ for her family and some close friends. I noticed a poster on the backyard fence, promoting something called a “Valentine Charity Auction” and Relay for Life, and I asked Lene what that was all about. Gracious beyond measure, she stopped what she was doing and addressed my questions.
Josh (Thomas1 Bellic) JB: So, Lene, tell me about how you first came to be associated with Relay for Life?
Lene Schitt (LS): Last year after meeting Abby Lemongrass and Bob Bayilner the team captains for One More Light group; I was so blown away with their events and how they were raising money for this incredible cause. I could not believe how huge Relay for Life was here in the virtual world and I knew right away I wanted to be a part of it.
::Lucid:: I was first introduced to Relay when my friend introduced me to Bob and Abi and they asked me if I was interested in making some things to sell for a relay event.
JB: Have you hosted events like this before?
LS: I have hosted smaller parties for myself and for friends but never an event like this. But I am looking forward to hosting more; this has been an incredible turnout and a whole lot of fun.
JB: You have quite an operation here. Do you do this by yourself, or did you have help?
LS: Oh no, there is no way I could have done this by myself... From the start this has been a team effort, from the build of the sim, coming up with ideas to include everyone, planning the pantie hunt, making the note cards, flyer's, free gifts for everyone that visits the sim, flick pick of the day, coordinating events at That's Amore Cafe, all of it has been a Team Effort... One More Light is quite the Group and we are growing.
Lucid: We have a team, One More Light. It’s a team effort, but special recognition goes to Lene Schitt and Lily Cloud as it would be nothing without them.
JB: What types of reactions have you had to the Valentine Charity Auction?
LS: I have to tell you the amount in donations alone from this event thus far speaks volumes. We have had a great reaction from everyone, so many people have shown their support in many different ways. Not only our friends but also people that don't know us or just heard about the event through advertisement; everyone wants to be a part of it somehow.
Lucid: Overwhelmingly positive reactions, everyone has been having fun and we've met so many new friends.
JB: The “Pantie Hunt” was fun. How did you come up with THAT idea?
LS: Well, the Pantie Hunt wasn't my idea. That idea was Lily Cloud and the Cookie Monster. Lily Cloud is one of our Team Members and she and Cookie thought a Valentine Pantie Hunt with love stories would be a great idea to promote the auction. So many people enjoyed the Hunt, we will most likely bring it back next year.
JB: Tell us more about the auction. I understand that, unlike most auction boards, you actually have a couple of different categories?
LS: The idea of the Valentine Charity Auction was to include everyone. We wanted to be able to have everyone participate, so we came up with 3 categories Romance, Friendship and Kinky.
· ROMANCE: Single and Want to Mingle then this is the right category for you. Looking for that perfect someone to settle down and perhaps be your forever SL partner?
· FRIENDSHIP: Looking for like-minded friends, or something platonic, one in which people share a close bond but do not have a sexual relationship, then this is the right category for you.
· KINKY: Do you desire something Kinky or have some Erotic Fetish? Want to go on a date and meet someone with some Kinky Fetishes, then check out this category?
We thought that by having different categories everyone would be able to participate in the auction and I got to tell you, breaking the auction into these 3 categories was really worth it, the response has been amazing!!
Lucid: Yes, we wanted it to be a really inclusive event, and not everyone is looking for the same things, we wanted everyone to be comfortable and to enjoy themselves.
JB: As part of my in-depth research in support of this article, I agreed to be one of those who was “Auctioned off” for a good cause. As a result of this event, I made another friend in SL. Such a delightful way to get to know someone – going on a date to help fight Cancer. What a concept!
JB: This looks like a LOT of auction boards! About how many people have participated in your Auctions?
LS: We broke up the Auction in two rounds and each round had about 125 boards, most people in round one came back to participate in Round 2 and some that hadn't had a chance are still coming to sign up.
JB: How are you doing on fundraising this year?
LS: The Season is just starting and I have to tell you we are blowing it away so far. This event has put us right at 30% of the goal for this season. Our Goal this Season is to raise $6,000 US dollars.
AL: That’s Six Thousand US Dollars – and not Lindens. Overall, Relay for Life of SecondLife has set a goal of $500,000 US dollars for the year.
Lucid: We are over a third of the way to our goal already, with four months to go.
JB: What happens with the money you raise?
LS: All money raised at our events including this one will go to Relay for Life of Second Life.
AL: In 2021, SL Relay for Life was the #4 organization across the world. Relay For Life of Second Life has raised over $3.2 million for the fight against cancer.
Lucid: Every Linden we raise goes directly to Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society. Our team leaders go so far as to pay for this sim out of pocket so no money gets redirected at all, straight to Relay.
JB: Do you have specific events planned? Can you share some details of those?
LS: One More Light Team has a list of upcoming events for the Season. The calendar is getting full already and our next big event is the Mr/Miss Multiverse Pageant, which is going to be so much fun. We also have an Easter egg hunt/Tea, surfing event, Roller Disco, Golf Tournament, Comic Con, live singers and you won’t want to miss out on The Great Gatsby Themed Weekend Event... We have so many great events upcoming...
Lucid: We have oh so very many things. In addition to the activities Lene mentioned, we have an event called Keg and Eggs, and a really special Art Gala, along with many one-day events.
JB: Is there anything Else you would like to share with our SL Enquirer Readers?
AL: Believe it or not, less than 20% of the people in second life even know about Relay for Life here in SecondLife. Can you imagine if everyone knew and got involved what a difference we might make? We are always looking to add fun, creative members to our team who want to share in our passion to raise awareness and money for Relay for Life...
Lucid: While just one out of every five SecondLife Users is aware of the Relay for Life presence inworld, SL is the fourth largest donor. I think that's pretty amazing, and if the word is spread further, we could work miracles.
So there you have it, Folks. If you want to help make a difference in the world, come on out to the One More Light, Relay for Life auction and charity fundraising event. You really CAN make a difference.
Imagine a world free from cancer. Help make it a reality.
OK Folks…Check out the links above.
Be There. Aloha!