The Relay Refresh RoadTrip rolled into Mount Dora, Florida, a charming, one-hundred plus year old historic village in the heart of Central Florida on the shores of beautiful Lake Dora, to visit with Prettykitty Gumbo. Known for its antique shops and annual festivals, Mount Dora is but a stone’s throw north of the home of Mickey Mouse and all things Disney, yet the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Having spent many years teaching technology in the public school system, Prettykitty is now on hiatus and enjoying being a “full time Grandma”. With three grandkids ranging in age from 3 weeks to 5 years, she just beamed as she told us about each one, how she spends most of her day chasing the 3 year old and helping her daughter with the newborn.
While expecting to hear that her favorite songs included Wheels On The Bus, we were happy to hear that she had a very eclectic taste in music that ranged from rock and roll to country to classical. Her favorite musician is Blake Shelton and one of her favorite all time songs is Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce. She is a huge fan of Timeless, a science fiction time travel drama series on NBC, but we also suspect she watches a lot of Sesame Street with Big Bird et al on HBO and PBS.
Prettykitty loves corny jokes and humor. She loves all things “Lucy and Ethel” and The 3 Stooges. When asked who her hero was, she described people “who dedicate themselves to causes... people that make a difference in this world”.
She told us she uses a Samsung Note 4 cellphone to keep in touch with her real life friends and family and an Alienware Windows 10 gaming laptop to keep in touch with her Second Life friends. She grudgingly told us she has 84,088 items in her inventory, many of which are from hunts and freebies.
Prettykitty came to Second Life with a group of woman she met on a Big Brother message board. As the Big Brother season wound down in 2007, one of the woman said, “let’s all go to SL... it’s this really cool place where you can fly... buy hair... and shoes…”. She told us she “bought a new computer” and joined the others about 10 months after they all had arrived in Second Life. Having a built in group of friends, she was immediately rescued from Noob Island and given a crash course in all things SL. Even with all the help she had, Prettykitty shared a funny noob story about “being in a dress shop... changing clothes... ending up naked and avatars yelling at her to find another place to do that”.
Among the women who Prettykitty came to SL with was Triz Aster, who in real life worked for the Canadian Cancer Society. She knew about Relay for Life and encouraged all of the women from the BB chat group to begin Relaying in Second Life. In 2008, Prettykitty was on her first Relay Team and has been active ever since. She has served in many capacities, always saying yes when presented with a new challenge. She has been a Mentor to new teams and she has been the Teams Lead, which is the go to person for any team questions or problems during the Relay season. She has been a Team Captain and has served in many different capacities during Relay Weekend. She has worked on many of the Mega Events such as the Christmas Expo and Home and Garden Expo. She never tires and her humility, for the many things she has done, is palpable. In recognition for her years of service, Prettykitty received the Spirit of Relay Award in 2017, given yearly to someone in Second Life who has gone above and beyond to help the American Cancer Society lead the fight for a world without cancer through the Relay For Life movement.
Prettykitty told us she Relays for her dad, her aunt, her father in law and her many friends in both real life and Second Life. This year she is also Relaying for a very special SL friend currently battling cancer. She shared with us that she Relays in real life “walking the track” in her local town and “balling her eyes out”.
When asked what her favorite part of Relay is, Prettykitty told us that she loves Relay Weekend. She loves looking at all the builds, exploring the sims while wearing her roller skates, and she especially loves the Remember Ceremony, of which the Luminaria experience is part. She is moved by the silence and reading of the names during that hour. She told us about “walking along the track... in the darkness... feeling so alone... when much to her surprise a “dog avatar” came up beside her... walked along with her... and no longer felt she was walking alone”.
Prettykitty attends as many Relay events during the season as she can. When Prettykitty is inworld, you will most likely find her at a Relay event. She is always supporting teams and their events with her presence and her encouraging words. She loves seeing all the hard work that teams do and all the fun ideas they come up with for their events.
Prettykitty is genuinely one of the most positive Relayers on the grid. Prettykitty has a way of making anything she does exciting and she has an infectious way of getting those around her excited as well. Prettykitty epitomizes the word humble and is one of the many quiet, hard working, behind the scenes people who have made Relay For Life in Second Life the success that is has been over the years.
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