American Cancer Society to hold third annual Virtual Relay For Life in Second Life

July 26, 2007

On July 27 and 28, the American Cancer Society and Second Life will team up once again to celebrate survivorship and raise money for the fight against cancer by holding the Society's third annual virtual Relay For Life® in the Second Life virtual world.

This year's event, supported by the Society's Futuring and Innovation Center, is expected to attract nearly 2,500 global participants. Volunteer organizers have already shattered their goal of raising $75,000 by raising nearly $90,000 (or $24 million Linden dollars, the official Second Life currency) to support cancer research and programs.

The Society's virtual Relay For Life began in 2005 when Society volunteers in the Second Life community contacted Society staff to discuss the idea of creating a Relay event in the virtual world. In 2006, the event raised more than $41,000 and attracted more than 1,100 participants to a track that included real-world representations of New York City, Paris, Mexico, Sweden and South Africa. During this year's event, as in past years, avatars will gather to donate money and walk on a custom-built track that encompasses a 512-acre park.

Using the theme "Quest for a Cure," volunteers are planning to use action adventure movies as inspiration for the games, scenes and activities that will greet participants during this year's Relay.

"The Second Life community continues to show unwavering support, dedication and inexhaustible creativity as we draw close to another record breaking event," said Randal Moss, the Society's manager of futuring and innovation-based strategies.

In addition to the Relay For Life event, the Society also is celebrating the recent opening of its virtual headquarters in Second Life. The new virtual building, which opened on June 1, is designed to provide the same cancer information and services to people in the virtual world as the organization provides in the non-virtual world. The building includes presentation and meeting rooms for cancer education sessions and fundraising meetings, and will soon feature a staffed link to the Society's National Cancer Information Center that provides free cancer information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The headquarters also features green space and gardens to showcase user-created art that expresses the personal fight against cancer.

"Already we have existing peer-to-peer Second Life cancer support groups coming to us to use the facility and our resources. We are certain that going forward the community will find untold uses for our office space in terms of education, advocacy, fundraising and community support," said Moss.
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Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money to support the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer. During the events, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds or parks and take turns walking or running laps while trying to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. Relay For Life events, which are held in more than 4,800 communities in the United States and in 19 countries, have raised more than $2 billion to help the Society accelerate the progress against cancer. For more information on the Second Life Relay For Life event and the Society virtual headquarters office, please visit www.cancer.org/slrfl and www.slrfl.org. Information about Relay For Life is available 24 hours a day by visiting www.RelayForLife.org.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

American Cancer Society

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