What an inspiration Relay For Life weekend was. I wore the tag for Giant Snail Relay team, seeing how clammy the other tag had become and how I was told I wasn't needed. Tindy had done practically all the work on the Snails' campsite, so I had a feeling no one would be relaying for them. Racer suggested I put out my Snail shirts and Whoish vendors to bring in more donations; the team went gold level on Saturday. Total raised at this writing for the American Cancer Society by Second Life: US$373,098.
At first there were others participating. We rooted for the first lap passersby, waving flags. Survivors and Caregivers. I knew so many people running and walking by us, and they appreciated our cheers. It seemed I was wrong about the track and the impression that it was this long road which took 24 hours to complete. More like 45min-hour, with special theme laps where we put on silly things or changed form (like the animal lap). Running by interesting builds and people cheering you on... Proud I managed to raise 10,000 Lindens before the weekend festivities began and another few thousand during the relay from the roadside donations. By the end of the event most of the luminaria lining the road were lit. I'd been reunited with so many people I hadn't connected with in ages: folks from past SL events, other causes, show n tell, previous neighbors, 7Seas fishers, Office Hours, Whovians, and so on.
It was clear that I would be the only one to run for the team. As I've said, there were others who like me claimed more than one team tag, but they ALL represented the other. After the first half a day, no one rooted from the campsite. It was deserted for most of the weekend.
But the major thing is I got to run. And run. And run for all I did. I've helped raise over 12k, about 5k of it for Giant Snail Relay's tally, maybe more; vendor sales sporadically continue. I got to cheer people who did all they did without any personal agendas save success. That's the spirit!
As expected, New London had been omitted again from inclusion by the Dr Who Fans Relay team, so they were unaware of the Relay weekend (Victor continues to be oblivious of an ever growing conflict between two concepts: being in charge and community obligation). When I invited Laredo Lowtide to check out the luminaria and how fans could light them in Elisabeth Sladen's name as well as for family and friends, I could tell the very setting of people running past and the luminaria - with their dedications to loved ones struggling or long gone - was something they would want to become a part of one way or another next year. The management is so busy - maintaining TARDIS sim is a fulltime job. Maybe they need some sort of public events coordinator or something. They certainly have enough group members if not active events participants to make their own team. Hell if the Snail Races can do it with no one on the campsite for most of the weekend, I think a good gaggle of Whovians could maintain a team presence on the track as well as put something fantastic together for a campsite. The Doctor after all is the mother of all humanitarians.
I'm sure next year will be different. It always is after the first time. I know more people involved, am involved with more people who are involved, and Who knows what happens in 2012? :)
Remember I have a year-round kiosk in Hydrangea near the diner sign. While RFL is a seasonal campaign, cancer hits whenever it hits.