Nic Harrison, Sam Albertini, Sally-Ann Cumine and Mayor Jenny Dowell prepare for the start of Dry July.
Nic Harrison, Sam Albertini, Sally-Ann Cumine and Mayor Jenny Dowell prepare for the start of Dry July. Blainey Woodham

Here's cheers for a dry July

NORTHERN Rivers residents have the opportunity to detox and raise money for a great cause next month by joining the annual Dry July campaign to support the Our House project at Lismore Base Hospital.

But drinkers won't need to abstain for the whole month, as long as they're prepared to fork out a few more dollars for the campaign.

"If you need a night off you can actually buy a golden ticket - which is $25 - so those who do actually have functions or weddings or birthdays, they can have a night off," said Our Kids fundraising co-ordinator Rebekka Battista.

The project is aiming to raise another $100,000 this year before it can meet its ultimate goal of $1 million, which it has been working towards since 2004.

Bruce Parry from Summerland Credit Union, which is joining Dry July for the first time, is confident a sizable chunk of its 110 employees will step up to the challenge.

"We'll be using the branch network to get the word out to the members as well," he said.

"My wife's birthday is in July, so I'll be buying a golden pass for that occasion."

And if there's anyone who doesn't drink alcohol, they can abstain from another vice - smoking, coffee, chocolate - and still raise money.

Ms Battista said that Our House project would go a long way towards improving the lives of regional people getting cancer treatment.

"Our House is for cancer patients and their families who are forced to travel from as far as Coffs Harbour and Glen Innes," she said.

"Right now the only option for accommodation is motels, and some of our patients need accommodation for up to six weeks."

"Sadly some people choose not to get treatment because it's all too hard, and they've got nowhere to stay.

"Our House will actually fill that need for a low-cost accommodation for those patients."

The building will include 20 motel style units and a communal area for families.

 

SIGNING UP

Go to dryjuly.com

Create a profile page and choose Lismore Base Hospital

Encourage your friends and family to sponsor you.

Enjoy a month off the grog and help support Our House