Thursday, August 11, 2016
Relay for Life in InWorldz Kickoff
By Bixyl Shuftan
The event started with a "Pre-Speech Warm-Up" party by Martin Glom, followed at 9AM with a live music performance by Mikie String. Starting at 10AM and going on to 11 were a few speeches.
A transcript of the speeches was provided to the Newser.
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My Fellow Relayers
As my first speech as the Chair of Relay For Life of InWorldz, I really do not know where to begin. RFL of IW -has come together as I have never seen a group of folks work. This past two weeks have just been phenomenal. Not only am I proud of each and every one of you - but wow ! The amount of work completed could have only been done by some very fine folks. I am not going to name names, due to the fact that I know I will leave someone out. You know who you are and my genuine thanks go to each and every one of you !
For those are you that may be thinking, now what IS that bobcat talking about THIS time.
We procured with the help of a most gracious donor a new main 2x2.. Honestly, this is the best thing that could have happened to us. We are out where we can add on and become as big as each and every one of your hearts. BIG thanks to our donor and our great committee! We appreciate all that you did and to those not on committee but who gave us a great hand when needed,
It is so exciting to already have 12 teams and not just any 12 teams but 12 fine teams that will do a great job. Already we have made more money in General Donations than ever before - https://rflofiw.org/ Scroll down to see totals. You will see totals for your team there already. The kiosks rezzed here and and by the amphitheater have been contributed to. Please remember it is bad luck to rezz a kiosk without adding even a few izzies. We will be adding convio totals to this page, thanks to our dear friend Wolf Hartnell.. If your team does not have convio set up yet, there are several of us that can help you do that. With six teams already signed up, it will take very little time. http://relay.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY16SL?fr_id=70672&pg=entry Use your IW information on this form. Kitty Gumbo is your team ambassador.
Most of you know me but for those who don't, just a little background information, this is my 8th virtual relay, The people who have always been behind me and supported me have been in each and every one, answering all my silly questions and teaching. My dear wife Cassie has been with me every step of the way. Admiral Beaumont and Ms. Eilidh McCullough have been priceless. What you see is the result of these kind friends and their teaching. My typist is a teacher and I feel it is necessary to always acknowledge those who gave us guidance. Leadership is not new to me, but it was in virtual worlds. I assisted two different RL relays at our schools for several years, by providing materials and acted as a liaison for relay and the school system. A memorable moment was having the opportunity to hold our granddaughter's hand and walk around the track. Poppa really appreciated that moment.
Coming to Virtual Worlds, I have captained an awesome team in SL and served on committee as a coach. . However my proudest moments were working with RFL of IW with our team, WeeFolks For a Cure under the guidance of Hairy Thor and Bain Finch. I have served on committee and helped whenever possible. I have had the enjoyment of watching a fantastic relay grow from a little office on Hairy's sim to a sim, to a 2x2 and now this . It is beyond words. i was so impressed with InWorldz and the possiblities - I joined the Events Committee and also help with Grid wide events. So you will see me around ! I do have a deep belief in a boots on the ground approach. When you have an event, have Martin place it on the calendar and we will be there as best we can. There are only 12 teams, so please, it is not necessary to plan on top of each other. Remember your venues too, and take care of them.
We are a global relay, our committee shows it, our relayers show it! We cannot have everything at the exact right time for everyone, but we will do our best. Also - our global economy is izzies - that is how our totals will be reported. Convio does use USD but Euros can use paypal and it will convert.
We only hold a 10 week relay, the rest of our time in InWorldz, will be working with folks from Hope Lodges, setting up our InShape Trails, giving them someplace to be a part of a wonderful community while still in treatment, or after they go home. We will concentrate on health, wellness, nutrition and other helpful things such as our Chakra classes led by our Fight Back Ambassador, Cataplexia Numbers. We will be hosting a Survivor and Caregiver group for those wishing to have a group to chat with. Cassie and I know as caregivers for our mothers, both cancer survivors, a group like this is invaluable.
Finally, I do believe that this, our 5th year relay is going to be a banner year. I relay so that folks will never have to hear those words - you have cancer. I see that there is new research coming along and I think it is quite promising. Please look at our info boards and check with those links. You will be proud. Plan some great events - attend events - but most of all these three things you MUST DO!! Smile, have fun, and do awesome things. Get to know one another, listen and help one another.
At this time, I would like to introduce another very special friend who always makes me smile when he says - wow, just wow!, my co chair Martin Glom. He was chosen for his wonderful ideas and new fresh beginnings. Let's GO GO GO RELAY!!! Martin....
I would now like to introduce a very special person to all of us. Ms. Cataplexia She is our Fight Back Ambassador and helps with builds, notices, and keeping Olde in line - i takes a village to raise a bobcat. Ms Cat.
Thank you so much for joining us today - the text was purposefully done for our Euro friends for whom English is not a first language. We will be joining DJ Cat - (yes, she does that too) in the Stage of Infinite Hope (where we started) We need the exercise !
Thank you so much Oldesoul
Ill keep my speech short and sweet much like myself (Pause for Laughs) "silently talks to himself" keep cool its your big day Mr Glom keep cool no major boos yet and i dont see any eggs (Yet)---haha im just kidding.
Hello to all and welcome to Relay For life Of Inworldz 2016...(Our theme this year Relay Round The World One Hope One World) and that is what we do every year we relay from all around the world Were a global Relay and were so excited you're here to join us.
Relay For Life of Inworldz is a signature fundraising event of the American cancer society and we all relay on a global scale...Global Relay For Life (IRFL) events are now held in more than 600 communities spanning 23 countries and 2 virtual worlds.
This unique activity is designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for life-saving research and programs, unites and mobilizes community members committed to eliminating cancer.
When I see our community here I think wow, everyone keeps saying to me inworldz is such a small grid there is no one around the place and it is is empty, I think to myself what are they sniffing are they on drugs have they even opened there eyes and looked around, since coming to inworld 3 years ago I've seen a community with some of the biggest hearts I've ever seen so kind generous.
This year marks a new chapter for relay for life we see our previous Chair and Co-Chair step down after doing some invaluable work over the past 4 years, to open the door to a new Chair and Co-Chair which enables RFLofIW to get some fresh ideas fresh experience and fresh minds in this signature event.
But none of the ideas would be possible without a team force behind us that's so strong including our Community here in Inworldz its amazing to see so many people come together from around the world to hold hands and to be together in a time of need.
We have seen this many times throughout the year and previous years after loosing so many close friends and family members and the hurdles we have been faced with our will, strength, community and, determination is what makes us bounce back when the chips are down i know i can rely on our community here and my fellow relayers from around the world.
I would like to extend a huge thanks to ms Luna Stormfeather who is our chief editor for our magazine and our Media Specialist, and of course to the one and only Wolf Hartnell who is our tech Support Specialist who makes relay possible from our vendors to our kiosks he is the driving force behind the scenes of relay
We have seen how much of a community spirit is here in inworldz, when we 10 days before relay lost the ACS sims and where left to become self-sufficient,we had to get a new sim which we got from an Anonymous Donor who wishes to remain Anonymous but you know who you are and we thank you so much for what you are doing to help us carry the relay torch.
When we got the sim we had to rebuild everything and our community jumped in right away to help we seen just how amazing a community can be in a time of need we where speechless and in aw at how amazing everyone was.
Now there are too many amazing people to list and you know who you are but a big shout out has to goto Cassie Eldemar, Aminata Potez , Eilidh McCullough , Cataplexia Numbers, Benski Trenkins , Yichard Muni, and everyone involved in making our relay possible i dont want to leave anyone out but he list is too grat to mention everyone so many kinds hearts coming together you all know who you are and we love and thank you.
For what you all done combined in 10 days was amazing and totally un real there of course is allot more working behind the scenes and up front in our relay and it would take me a long time to name them all but you know who you are and we respect and admire everything you do and you and everyone should be proud of what you do and achieve each year.
And I also would like to extend huge thanks to Mr. Rycon Bamaisin who both him and his wife are active relayers, Rycon is the mind behind a new project were hoping to get of the ground trough our own radio station and our dream of having morning shows and shows for survivors and caregivers and relayers a place to chat and share feelings this will be one of a kind to Inwolrdz and never done before on this grid, thank you so much Rycon to both you and your wife Nicole for everything you do.
I am so happy to be taking the Torch from the previous Co.Chair to step beside an amazing person as Oldesoul his knowledge and experience is what will shape this relay, his dedication and spirit is what will excel this relay, his passion and courage is what will take our relay above and beyond I'm just glad he trusted me enough to stand beside him while he was doing it.
I am looking forward to learning and supporting Olde and the community in everything I do during season and off season and I thank you all for allowing me the chance to relay with you and lets make 2016 our year.
Big hugs and GoGo Relay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Martin and Oldesoul.
And since handing off to new leaders, which I firmly believe is in the best interest of an all Relay organizations to have new leaders at semi regular intervals, to breath new energies and ideas, to make the whole better,, hit a few more goals all ready with the creation of the RFLofIW magazine!
Thank you Luna Stormfeather and all those involved. And now the launch of Fouse Radio, the official Radio station of Relay For Life on InWorldz!!! Woohooo! Yay! Thank you Rycon and everyone that help create and launch Fouse Radio!
Another goal / wish I did have, and this one I knew it would take some time for it to come together. But you know, I do think we have taken another very important step in reaching that one.
One very important piece of this goal is my dear friend, met her in another Relay, (coughs, hummm) and she help establish that support group there. She has a long career of working with cancer support groups, at home in the UK and Holland and pretty much all over the organic world. My very dear friend Poppy Zabelin and she is here to help build a support group for our InWorldz survivors and caregivers.
Personally have been fortunate,, knock of wood, cancer free, but I know my family's history, two generations back. I was a secondary caregiver for my dad, as I was living at home at the time and my mom was #1.
Now since joining Relay, been the primary person for many friends, to hold their hands and talk, cry, laugh, all the way through their journey. So ya, I define myself a caregiver.
Caregivers need just as much help, as survivors, as they are living and juggling two or more lives, if they have children still at home. The stresses for them are just as real, just as heavy, just as weighty, just as life changing, for them, as those in their charge.
I hate how the outcome for the survivor is reduced to a percentage or odds, the one thing I have never asked of someone by the way.,,, The outcome for the caregiver, can be just as dark. You might lose your life's partner or loved one, and in many cases, have financial and emotional challenges for years to come regardless of the outcome.
Yet they feel they need to strong and in charge. But in all reality, you are totally out of control, stressed beyond belief and running for you and their lives.
Tightly woven with this wish/goal of mine, are the ideals, mission and goal of another ACS creation, Hope Lodge. Many countries in the greater global cancer society family, have their own version of hope lodge too.
I know Canada has them, many European countries too, under different names, with essentially the same objective of provide a temporary lodging while undergoing treatment away from home.
These lodges all become central resource centers for these people, with all the information they need, local connections to companies and service designed for them. And because some stays can last of a long time, with some cancer treatment types, are staying with others, have each other to lean on.
As I said on the Morning show on Fouse Radio, The one truth I have come to know about InWorldz residents, you have it in your DNA to pull together. We fight through the oddest issues and keep on going.
You are the beacon of HOPE. For all those to come, I am betting, past survivors and caregivers, will be here for you, with their life's lessons, with their personal stories, for what helped them get through the long dark night. Maybe, just maybe, just knowing the simple fact they got through it and are not only surviving but are thriving, is enough to strengthen ones resolve, to get through theirs.
With what have happened in the few days with the creation of Hope Village, have another piece of that puzzle, just got place on the board.
And as more people join our RFL of IW survivors and caregivers group in InWorldz and our IWz family grows, will now have a home for wellness and mutual support, to help those going through the long dark night of cancer. Survivor and caregiver, will have a place to make the journey, a bit easier, a bit brighter.
That's what two of these sims are for. Over in the NW corner will be Our Lodge of Hope, built by our very talented and sweet soul Cassie, and in the NE corner, the future Resource Center, housed in a beautiful Cathedral built, as a dedication to his mother of blessed memory, another amazing builder and equality beautiful soul,, our very own, I'll do anything for tuna, our good friend Benski.
Another dear friend, talented builder and wonderful soul, our very own Cataplexia Numbers will be following shortly, began holding wellness session for us, and I am so delight she offering that wonder piece the big picture puzzle.
Oh by the way, I lost the cover picture to the puzzle, so I don't know that the final picture looks like! So we do need your help. LoL :-P
Later today, not sure were, campfire? Here? At 2pm IWT., Poppy and I would like to invite everyone for a discussion, of what this puzzle picture might look like and whether you might have some of the peices.
If you have been touch by the indiscriminate finger of cancer and are currently fighting or have reached that hard fought day, you get to hear "all clear," please join our RFL of IW survivors and caregivers group in InWorldz.
Last week when I was told I would be talking about this today, the words to this song been floating around me head, words written by Tim McGraw, words I hope you, and pretty sure ?
many of you hold dear,,, "Someday I hope you get the chance To live like you were dying."
Thanks you, thank you all for what you do, thank you hope you create and share openly every day of the year. One World. One Hope. GO Relay!
And now the very lovely and talented, Cataplexia "Cat" Numbers
My name is Cataplexia Numbers and some of you may know me as a builder
well today, I would like to build with all of you.
In a world where strength comes in numbers and hope comes to those
who have the strength and the vision and the courage to believe....
I would like to build a wall
- standing strong together,
- leaning on each other,
- picking up each other when we fall
A wall of unity!
- Stretching around the world from every walk of life
- reaching nation upon nation till it reaches us all
- there is strength and strong support in unity!
And most of all, I want to build a wall of HOPE!
- That bends but never breaks
- That offers safe refuge to those who have lost hope
- A wall of people, hopeful for a cure for cancer.
As Relay For Life's Fight Back Ambassador- I offer all of you
MY Strength & Courage to fight
My Prayers to recover
and MY HOPE to find a cure!
I invite all of you, no matter who you are
or where you come from
to join me in this fight!
To give YOUR Strength, Courage , Prayers & Hope
To give your HELP!
Build this wall with me!
Stand tall in our unity and fight!
Stand united in our hope
and stand PROUD
knowing that what we do together
CAN make a difference in so many lives!
I am a cancer survivor
and I want to invite you all
to be survivors too!
Help me build my wall of hope, of strength and of unity!
Help Relay For Life build resources and donations
that will give hope to the hopeless
that will help give courage and comfort
To those who have been stricken with cancer and
to those who have lost loved ones
to this horrible tragic disease
How do we fight?
The biggest enemy of any disease is Knowledge!
Help us raise funds necessary for research into finding a cure for cancer
Help us create resources for the treatment of those who are stricken with Cancer
Help us fund Genomic testing, a strong tool in the prevention of cancer
Help fund the research and development of medications that will help those in need
one of the most valuable tools of knowledge to help fight cancer is to know your body!!
If something on your body such as a mole changes - Have it checked!
If you feel pain somewhere that you did not injure, bang or bruise - Have it checked!
if a bodily function is not working correctly such as a broken urine stream, stools that are too small, painful, too dark or bloody, irregular menses, heavy bleeding - Have it checked!
Check your own body- know what feels "normal" and when something is not right!
Have routine checkups with your physician yearly- Mamograms & papsmears on
If you are sexually active or your pre-teen to adult children are, please have yourself and them tested for the HPV Virus which causes cancer! Wear condoms to protect yourself from this and more!
Ladies, check your breasts for lumps or abnormalities, i promise you wont go blind!
Men check your prostate- your testicles - you wont go blind either!
If something doesn't seem right- HAVE IT CHECKED by your Dr!
My fight was an easy one. My cancer was found in its early stages, and after a hysterectomy there was not a trace left. I am happy to say its been a over a year now, and I remain cancer free, I am thankful every day of my life.
But others are just beginning their fight. My husband Scott here in InWorldz was just diagnosed with cancer. This was discovered during a routine checkup. He had no idea and was only beginning to show symptoms. Many more people around the world are diagnosed every day, but I have hope for them, and hope for my husband.
Hope because people like us will never give up the fight!
Hope because we will not stop until this disease is a tiny blurb in the history books about the monster, cancer, that WE took down! Together! United in HOPE and Strength & Courage!!
Never give up the fight!
Never lose hope!
Stand together and be strong for each other!
This year's Relay For Life of InWorldz is about hope across the world.
May our wall reach that far and grow, ever stronger in the coming years!
I have collected some favorite quotes on Hope:
Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when se see--in the mind's eye--a path to a better future.
JEROME GROOPMAN, The Anatomy of Hope
Hope never abandons you; you abandon it.
GEORGE WEINBERG, Self Creation
Without a minimum of hope, we cannot so much as start the struggle.
PAULO FREIRE, Pedagogy of Hope
Hope is the tiny seed that if tended and kept alive, can blossom into the most beautiful of gardens!
I wish to thank all the Relay For Life participants- The Chairs & Co- Chairs past & present, Admin, Builders, Team Leaders & Members, Designers, and countless contributers. Thank you all for continuing the fight!
Thank YOU for keeping hope alive!
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After the speeches was an "after party" at the The Stage Of Infinite Hope, with Cataplexia Numbers as the DJ. Yours truly got in at the tail end as it was winding down. Oldesoul would post some pictures of the event (here).
A few months from now will be the InWorldz own Relay Walk. Between then and now, one can check up on events and updates on the RFL in IW on their website: https://rflofiw.org/ .