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July 25, 2007

Simon Walsh of Second Life’s Wheelies Club is Featured on NewsWeek

NewsWeek’s Audio and Video blog interviewed our friend Simon Walsh (Simon Stevens in real life) from the Wheelies Club in Second Life. We wanted to congratulate Simon on this great news and for being featured by MSNBC and NewsWeek! Way to go!

Simon Walsh stated in his blog, “Wheelies, my disability themed nightclub has reached the big time as it appears in this week’s Newsweek cover feature in Second Life. The Newsweek video is great, a well balance view of Wheelies which is amazing.” Even the Second Life Insider covered the video.

According to research done at the Gromike blog, Wheelies is the first disability themed nightclub within Second Life and was first properly launched in September 2006. The club is a friendly environment where disabled and non-disabled SL users can meet and dance without fear of prejudice. 

The Wheelies nightclub is on the Second Ability island, which also includes the Stevens Center for disability training. Ask Patty has visited this club many many times and we think it rocks!

Not only is Simon helping others in Second Life at his club, but he is sponsoring Ask Patty’s “Let’s Race for a Cause” motor sports event in Second Life on Motorati Island to support United Spinal Association’s motor sports programs.

Posteremail AskPatty.com announced their Let's Race for a Cause charity motor sports event in Second Life on Pontiac's Motorati Island to take place at the Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday, August 4, 2007, at 12 p.m. PST. Female NASCAR driver Deborah Renshaw will race in Real Life on the same day, driving the No. 112 UnitedSpinal.org Chevrolet at Nashville's Motorplex Speedway in support of the Second Life events.

Second Life residents will be able to participate with their own modified race vehicles as well as utilize the customized United Spinal Pontiac Solstice GXP created by Amanda Shinji, Second Life resident and custom car designer. Race car drivers will compete to win one of three Pontiac Solstice GXP cars and up to $5000 Linden dollars. Along with these prizes, contestants will receive free giveaways that include T-shirts, hats and Radio Control cars.

Here’s where Simon comes in. The racing event includes a VIP after party hosted by Wheelies Night Club in Second Life. Wheelies is owned by Simon Walsh, a Second Life Resident and entrepreneur who has cerebral palsy in Real Life, and is a very active leading disability consultant, trainer, researcher, and advocate for the disabled community in Second Life. Simon stated, "Wheelies aims to make guests feel comfortable about disability as well as dancing and just plain having a good time." The after party and awards ceremony for race winners at Wheelies will commence immediately following the racing event.

Second Life residents can donate $Linden or $US dollars directly to the United Spinal Motorsports program or through donation kiosks set up around Motorati Island and other Sims in Second Life.

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