Thursday, November 24, 2005


Giving thanks to the efforts of SL Katrina Relief...

A statue of Louis Armstrong greets you at the entrance, as do saxophone and trumpet sculptures standing 50 feet high. There's a French Quarter to stroll through, and a Jackson Square to stand in, eerily resembling the New Orleans location where President Bush delivered his Katrina relief speech. While reconstruction of the great city has only just begun, the virtual Big Easy is more or less complete now, construction stopped only because the region has redlined its object allowance capacity. Building in the Linden-donated land of Big Easy and Biloxi began in late September, was completed in late October, with benefits launched shortly afterward. All of this was spearheaded by SL Katrina Relief, the group of volunteers dedicated to keeping the fires of virtual support for Katrina's victims burning, long past the point when compassion fatigue usually sets in.

So here's to them, on Thanksgiving Day, all the folks who kept pushing in here for the folks out there hit by the Gulf Coast's worst disaster in decades. Here's to Frans Charming, who took up the building of Big Easy after some initial confusion among the volunteers, and even though he'd only offered to help with some minor scripting, ended up overseeing and executing much of the city's construction, spending up to 10 hours a day at the task. All this, even though Frans lives in the Netherlands, and has never been to New Orleans before. "Since I didn't knew anything [about] the city," he tells me, "I had to study it quickly, make a plan ASAP, and contact gifted builders. Luckily I met some good people who dedicated much of their time to get it done in time. I owe them much thanks." (Which would include Lektor Hannibal, who made sure his New Orleans cemetary included a sly in-joke to Linden Lab's embattled Forum moderator.)

"Frans Charming took over the role of coordinator starting from ground zero," Margaret Mfume messages me. "He is a true credit to SL or any other community and the built under his watch was pretty much completed by the end of October." For that matter, here's to Margaret, who organized so much of the fundraising, raising over L$100,000 (about US$400) during a series of live music performances, a Mardis Gras float contest, live DJ parties, and other events, and in an auction held last weekend with Katt Kongo's energetic assistance, raised L$605,807 more. (An extra US$2400+ added to the donation pot.)

The benefits are over for now, but Big Easy and Biloxi are still open to visitors. What now for the place? "Margaret and me have put in a insane amount of time already and could use a little break," Frans tells me. "But I can certainly imagine that we could do some fundraising events around Christmas." My personal hope is Biloxi and Big Easy remain, but get re-purposed as a general relief site-- not just for Katrina's victims, but for all the other natural disasters around the globe that have hit since then, and all those that are bound to hit in the coming year.

For now, though, here's a Thanksgiving toast to all the volunteers who contributed their time, talent, and donations to creating a place where even after the world's attention seemed to slip away, Katrina's victims were never forgotten in Second Life.

SL Katrina Relief officers, please use Comments to offer your shout-outs to all the builders, scripters, promoters, entertainers, and donaters who helped you out most!

Posted at 03:41 PM | Permalink


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I would like to thank the following builders for all their hardwork and dedication:

April McCoy
Blake Bunderfeld
Brigit Broom
Chrystin Hathor
Constantine Giugiaro
Damanios Thetan
Deathmare Zadoq
Jack Belvedere
Lecktor Hannibal
Renee Hailey
Rhiannon Chatnoir
Robert Muir
sandhya2 Patel
Wolf Skye/Wolf Leader
and to thanks to anyone i might have forgotten, just send me a im, and kick me.
Thanks to all the other people who helped us with events follow shortly. :)

Posted by: Frans Charming at Nov 24, 2005 4:27:54 PM

The benefit to working on this effort has been meeting good people with generous spirits. They have been in my thoughts this Thanksgiving weekend. That my list is long is something to be truly thankful for.

Sally Zapata, Luckee Charming, Lysander Edo, Adam Brokken, Enabran Templar, Les White, Psau Mfume, Aeguvas "Miggy" Ritter, Helixx Galatea, Lecktor Hannibal, MagicJustSue Kojima, Frogg Marlowe, Beth Odets, Madame Maracas, Trinity Serpentine, Nala Galatea, Persial Hebert, Alaisi Stonebender, Misty Rollins, Melanie Rollins, Alex Rollins, Mike Burleigh, Misty Rhodes, Phoenix Psaltery.

Minky Mousehold and the Zouk Models, Sandhya2 Patel, Jennifer McLuhan, Jonquille Noir, Nonna Hedges, Phaylen Fairchild, Lexy Ludovico, Nemi McCoy, Crucial Armitage, Lady Greenstein, Enchant Jacques, MissBehaving Neva.

In a class by himself, Frans Charming.

Posted by: Margaret Mfume at Nov 27, 2005 5:50:13 PM

I was wondering around there last night, and I have to say they did a wonderful job on it.

Posted by: Skreft Lameth at Dec 3, 2005 10:35:18 AM

"...during a series of live music performances, a Mardis Gras float contest, live DJ parties, and other events, and in an auction held last weekend with Katt Kongo's energetic assistance, raised L$605,807 more. (An extra US$2400+ added to the donation pot.)" is incorrect.

Katt organized the float contest, which did not do very well. She did not assist with the auction. She organized it and hosted it. She asked residents to participate, collected biographical info/prize info, set the event, posted numerous times on the forums, dealt with people complaining about every little thing and auctioned off people for over four hours. Give credit where credit is due.

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