Today Dry July 2012 was launched at the Establishment in George Street, Sydney, hosted by the patron of Dry July Adam Spencer. Aisling, GoDo’s front end developer and Dry July 2011 poster child for the team, PR manager Gemma and I attended on behalf of the GoDo crew and brushed shoulders with its committed supporters, mocktails in hand.
Dry July works to better the lives of adults suffering with cancer by helping improve amenities within hospitals around the country. In its fifth year, Dry July 2012 aims to raise $3.2 million for 20 beneficiaries, including New Zealand newcomer Auckland City Hospital, and facilities in regional centres including Ballarat, Newcastle, Lismore and Cairns. If they achieve it, they will have raised $10 million in five years.
Before we turn up, we know it’s a good cause. However we were still blown away as founders Brett MacDonald and Phil Grove take us through the stats they’ve accumulated over the years. More than 26,000 have gone dry over five Julys since 2007, and collectively have raised $6.8 million. Born from a six-month stretch of embracing the Bondi lifestyle, Brett, Phil and friend Kenny decided to take on a booze-free July, quickly coined Dry July.
From these humble beginnings, the team decided to put the Dry July challenge out to their networks to raise funds for hospitals treating adults with cancer. Both Brett and Phil have had personal experiences with the disease – Brett watched his aunt go from treatment to treatment, not receiving the right treatment at the right time; a dear friend of Phil’s passed away only this week after a three-year battle with brain cancer at the age of 38, survived by his wife and two small children under seven. It’s this personal connection to the disease that continues the founders’ passion for Dry July cause.
While the money raised will benefit a number of hospitals, providing more comfortable chairs and big screen televisions to distract from the discomfort of long bouts of chemotherapy, Dry July also supports organisations such as regional beneficiary Lismore Base Hospital’s Our House, a cancer care accommodation for regional patients who travel large distances to get treatment, and Dreams 2 Live 4, who encourage patients of The Prince of Wales Hospital living with metastatic (secondary) cancer to realise their dreams. These dreams in the past have seen people stay in a hotel room overlooking Sydney Harbour, fly over Uluru in a helicopter, marry their childhood sweetheart or even something very simple – one elderly lady and cancer patient at the Prince of Wales Hospital just wanted to get her hair done one last time. Each beneficiary has their own story to tell, but what binds them is their commitment to improving the lives of those living with a disease that doesn’t choose, and affects us all.
Here’s a message from the team at Auckland City Hospital sharing why the Dry July funding is so crucial.
GoDo is supporting Dry July where it can, encouraging those who follow us to sign up and helping Brett, Phil and their team incentivise people to sign up with a handful of great prizes to give away in July. Check out the conversation on Dry July’s Facebook page, and take on the challenge of Dry July – you’ll clear your head, and make a difference.
By GoDo team member, Leah