Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Well, the Relay for Life has come and gone. Long and short of it, we collectively raised US$115,000 for the American Cancer Society. About $17,000 of that came from our group, McDunnough's Relay Gang, something like a third of which was raised in the Jail an Avatar event on the day of the Relay. I attribute the success of the Jail an Av event to the organizational skills and social engineering savvy of the Gang. The tech was relatively easy. But bludgeoning and wheedling dozens of people into spending hours and tens of thousands of Lindenbucks for a cause, with no reward beyond simple altruism? That's hard, and a skill I know I don't have. Gang, you're awesome!
Here's the kickoff, in front of the Survivor's camp. This year, they did it a little different, in that the "caregivers" (friends and family who have helped other people deal with cancer) were included. I thought that was pretty nice of them to extend the recognition to include those folks. I'm the guy with the black sphere embedded in his lower back. This was the attachment for my RL miles pedometer.
Interesting side note. As we were gathering to start the survivor's lap, my mother was starting her first chemo treatment. She insisted that I go ahead with the walk, or I would have been there with her. But, instead, I was walking. Were I a more introspective sort, I expect I'd have found some kind of symbolism or meaning in this. But, well, at this point it just is.
I expect this is the last I'm going to say about mom and cancer on this weblog. This is my Second Life blog, and that is decidedly a First Life issue. I've said a bit more about it on my walking in SLRFL page, which should remain around for a while longer if anyone is interested.
Here are Tayza Abattoir and I on Mo-Tech pogo sticks, during the "Bald is Beautiful" lap. Tay was very kind to me throughout the Relay, always checking up on me. This is pretty much the only time I tried to stick with anyone while I was walking on the treadmill. It's deucedly difficult to keep up a typewritten conversation while walking on a treadmill! I did walk with the Gang during the final lap, which I performed from my keyboard. So, at least I was minimally social, in any case.
Sadly, I didn't get many more pictures from the Relay itself. Most of the time, I was concentrating on other things... Usually something along the lines of "ow, my feet, owie, owie, ouch."
Here is my backup movement device. I've been having issues with my treadmill interface lately, specifically with the forward key switch. (The other keys still work fine.) I don't know if the reed switch is going out, or if the actual keyboard is wearing out. Either way, I expect closing and opening a switch several hundred times a minute (see this entry for details) for hours on end is a little hard on the equipment. So, I made the above provision in case of failure during the Relay. Fortunately, it didn't prove necessary. Still, I'm pleased with how well the alternate worked out. It's nice to be able to bash out a perfectly functional hack like this, from spare parts in under a half an hour.
I suppose I should dust my keyboard someday.
And this, I confess, was exactly what I envisioned when I thought about the Jail an Avatar event. Bad Moriash, no cookie. Here are famed SL DJs and bon vivants Bcreative Wilde, Naydee McGettigan, and Chelle Moore, (un)dressed to bring in the donations.
And, here's the final results! Overall tally? I walked 23 real-life miles, and something like 85 kilometers in Second Life. Not too shabby for a career swivel-chair jockey! We raised a heck of a lot of money, and had a little fun in a process. I guess I'd have to call this whole thing a success.
I've been asked this a couple of times, so I suppose I should clear it up: this was 23 miles spread out over the course of the Relay. I broke it up into short (an hour or two) walks, alternating with equally long breaks. This added up to about nine hours of walking spread over approximately 15 hours. Trying to do that all in one go would have been insane!
Over the course of the fundraising period, this stunt raised US$310. Less than I hoped, but more than I expected. I honestly have no idea how much the proceeds from my shop raised, since I was immediately depositing every sale into a donation card. Next time, assuming there is one, I'm keeping better books.