When I went to the Sunday Night Demo Derby in Random, I ran into a lady named Barbie Alchemi. She explained to me she ran a place called Creations for Parkinson's. "Our sim is set up to raise donations and awareness for Parkinson's," she told me, "and we have a wonderful support group. But the most important thing we do here is have fun!"
Dropping in on the place one Saturday with my partner Jasmine, Barbie was entertaining a mix of residents at a party on a deck on the shoreline. They were quite a lively bunch, including a small dragon who expressed his affections in an interesting manner, "I have a dragon licking my bum!" One guy named "Powerchairdude" was going around in a kind of hoverchair. Besides the regular danceable rezzer, there was a special one for wheelchair bound residents. There was also a few games for those handing our between parties.
Barbie greeted us, saying there was dancing at the dock three days a week, plus three in the ballroom. We both hung around for a little while until it ended and the guests began going their separate ways. Barbie offered us the choice of looking around on our own, or getting a tour. We decided on the tour. The tour went down both dirt paths and sidewalks, our course shaded with lots of trees, golden from the autumn season.
One of the first places we came across was a club building, "This is another dance club we use sometimes, Michael J's." The place was named for actor Michael J. Fox, whom came down with Parkinson's later in his career, "We are a Team Fox member and 100% of all donations go to the Michale J Fox Foundation." She explained her family paid for the sim's expenses, so all of the income could go to the charity, "We have over 30 top designers who all give 50% of the sales from their shops on this sim."
We soon went to a pier building and docks, "here you can rez motor boats, sailboats, jet-skis, windsurfers, tubies, swim animations." She then invited us to jump in, "if you do not mind getting wet, we can jump in the water here and i can show you the underwater." Jasmine made a "smelling of wet fur" joke, but her words quickly changed when we came upon the scenery, "Oh wow! This is amazing!" While most places think little of what's under the water, Barbie had made what lies beneath a visual treat of plants, marble statues and structures, and lots of bubbles. "I am still working on this," Barbie told us, "and when I am finished it is my goal for it to be the most beautiful underwater in SL!"
We soon passed by what Barbie pointed out was her mother's cottage, "She is the one who has Parkinson's who has inspired this whole project. My Dad died with Parkinson's, and a year later she was diagnosed with it. So this entire thing is built with love for the two of them. … She never complains, and Second Life has been so wonderful for her, because here she is free of her limitations. So that's why we decided to do this in Second Life."
Barbie pointed out a palace that was a gift from Felixx Shepard of Da Vinci Gardens, "Every texture you see, he has taken with his own camera from his travels. … he is a big supporter of our project." She mentioned he had contributed a second castle on the sim. We soon came to a garden area, and she pointed out some pillows, "Here we have tai chi cushions. My mom comes here everyday with her avi to practice tai chi, which she can not do in real life. But by experiencing her avi do it, she has regained strength and mobility. The power of visualization is fantastic. The brain is capable to doing so much more than we realize."
Barbie pointed out an amphitheater, "for poetry readings and small productions." Jasmine looked around at the scenery, "I love this." "Thank you. We have many lovely places to experience here, and it is a great place for photos." "It feels just right to me." Barbie mentioned she had worked on the effects of the water and shadows, "I have done all the terraforming and decorating myself. But I am not a builder. So things like this are donations from the talented creators of Second Life. This and all the flowers you see are a donation from Bunnie Badger from Two Moon Gardens. She has also been a big support of our project."
We came across some small shops and boutiques, "We have some of the top names in Second Life. We are only four months old, so we are just beginning to get known." She pointed out the ballroom mentioned earlier, "Everyone loves to put on their beautiful gowns and dance here." The larger events were held at the roof top, which needed a teleporter to get to.
Barbie wanted to show us where support meetings were held, and we ported to a small yard and cottage that turned out to be a floating island high above the sim, "This is where we hold our support group meetings. And I know that lives have been changed as a result of these meetings. It is for these people that I work every day." The group held meetings every Thursday morning at 10AM SL time.
One member, she told us, was an architect in real life, as well as Second Life, "His name is DB Bailey, and he has created a fantastic new club for us. We will hold the grand opening in a few weeks. He is a true artist, and he changes this every day. Frolic Mills used this for the opening show of Fashion Week" She took us over, and the place was extremely colorful, like a kaleidoscope.
Eventually, the tour was done, "Please come as often as you would like to explore and have fun and dance with us."
Creations for Parkinson's is at the Solace Lake