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Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Greatest Gift- Persia Bravin Reporting...

Staff Reporter
• Saturday, November 06, 2010

Big hearted musicians in Second Life have turned into Santa’s little helpers, helping to raise funds for scores of underprivileged children this Christmas.

Christmas comes but once a year and this yuletide, the generous music community of Second Life are hoping their incredible talents and combined hard work will help put a smile on the faces of thousands of children in dire real life situations. A dazzling new Christmas themed CD featuring the work of over sixty SL based musicians is due to be launched on November 1st with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the venerable ‘Toys for Tots Foundation’ which was conceived back in 1947 by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Over the past 63 years, it has managed to raise funds to purchase a staggering 81.3 million toys valued at more than $487 million and given joy to countless generations of children from impoverished families or those living in care. This is actually the second year that this CD has been produced in world, but the organisers are optimistic that this year, they can break last year’s record of 1062 CD's sold and 1.6 million Lindens raised for this worthwhile cause. 

For such an ambitious project to succeed, it requires a lot of dedication and professional expertise- plus hours of hard work and global communication. The foundation is fortunate, because the man responsible for making this become a virtual reality is none other than esteemed music producer, Pat Wunderland. The CEO of ‘Wunderland Records’ Pat knows the SL music industry inside out and has used his vast knowledge, skills and connections to create this festive album. So how did it all begin? “The idea for a Second Life Computation holiday CD was brought to me by Potlatch Foggarty, a Second Life entertainer” Pat says smiling. “It only took a few lines of chat from him to convince me that project had merit. Together we selected ‘Toys for Tots’ to be the charity to benefit for many reasons. This charity has a long history and they are professional and easy to work and communicate with. It just felt right and I am so happy we selected to work with them.”

Musicians in Second Life are famed for their kindness, regularly donating their time to perform at charitable events, but did it take much convincing by Pat and his team to get so many involved this year? “The first entertainer to be approached about the project was LizAday Solo-and she jumped right on board!” Pat says laughing. “That helped a lot and gave me confidence to continue to float the idea to the Second Life live entertainment community. After thousands of contacts with hundreds of entertainers, I didn’t receive a single ‘NO’. Sometimes, due to time constraints some entertainers that wanted to participate couldn’t, but the overall response from the entertainers was fantastic” he confirms. The list of artists involved is too exhaustive to put here, but Christmas themed tracks (both original and cover songs) from some superb artists such as Katia Keres, Joaquin Gustav, Tone Uriza, Sid Slade and LANCE Rembrandt are guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit.

The CD itself is a magnificent piece of virtual design and extremely easy to set up on your parcel of land. When I received an advance copy, it took mere seconds to follow the simple instructions (hey I’m blonde in both lives) and soon I was mass teleporting friends in for a pre Christmas, impromptu party on my sim. With a stunning cover produced by Pats creative wife Ann and help from a host of top Second Life scripter’s and coders, Pat has made owning this CD a real pleasure and I can’t think of a more fun or worthwhile way of spending L$500 -small money to make a big difference. So who else did Pat involve to make this altruistic project happen? “SnowcrashDigtal, a comprehensive and talented website and a Second Life coding team specializing in entertainment devices joined the effort this year” Pat says proudly. “They can best be described as the straw that stirs the drink and makes all of this possible. To be fair, last year’s coders did an outstanding job and laid a solid foundation for the future. This year we also welcome aboard several
sponsors that have placed unique, limited edition, Christmas themed gifts in the contents of the CD. Although last year’s CD was a resounding success by any measure, I personally along with those that received a advanced copy of this year’s CD agree that this year’s content is outstanding and I am certain all will enjoy it” he says warmly.

It’s encouraging to know that as we approach the season of goodwill, people within Second Life will stop and take time to think about others less fortunate than themselves. In real terms, the L$500 which is all this CD costs to buy is small change, but the accumulated cash raised from this beneficial venture will positively impact on many young lives. Pat is reflective when I ask him how he feels about his immense contribution to this cause. “Every single Linden dollar collected from all sources connected to this CD will be forwarded to the charity” he explains. “It’s a unique opportunity to do something we love, like play or listen to music and at the same time give Barbie dolls and footballs along with smiles to children along with some stress relief for struggling families- that's what I call cool synergy. ‘Toys for Tots’ is not a cliché. It is a chance to influence a child for life.”

The CD is released on November 1st can be purchased from one of the many vendors in world including Moolto Community Store or contact Pat Wunderland to rezz one at your land.


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