Neil issues a Dry July challenge

THIRSTY: Neil Beattie enjoys a well-earned beer at the completion of Dry July last year. Picture: PETER WEAVING

THIRSTY: Neil Beattie enjoys a well-earned beer at the completion of Dry July last year. Picture: PETER WEAVING

RELATED: Giving up the booze for Dry July

BOORT farmer Neil Beattie's personal battle with cancer prompted him to part with his beloved Carlton Draught for last year's Dry July fundraising campaign.

Mr Beattie admits he is known for his love of pots of beers and some people had their doubts he would be able to last the 31-day beer drought.

But he soldiered on, raising an impressive $40,125 for Dry July and naming Bendigo Health as his beneficiary.

Mr Beattie is now encouraging other central Victorians to support the cause.

"In 2009 I battled cancer and underwent numerous surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy," Mr Beattie wrote in a letter to the Bendigo Advertiser.

"From this experience and having a mate who was also battling cancer, I felt it was time I did my bit. 

"Hence, I joined the Dry July challenge.

"Originally I set a target to raise $10,000. 

"However, it was evident to me just how important this cause was when the entire Boort community got behind me running sausage sizzles, raffles, dinner and an auction night, along with many generous donations contributed to an astonishing final figure of $40,125."

Mr Beattie said he was taken aback by the Boort community's generosity and support.

"If we can do this, the potential for the region is huge," he wrote.

"This year Bendigo Health is hoping to raise the funds to refurbish the six Nolan Street cancer accommodation units where patients from across Loddon Mallee stay when undergoing treatment.

"I encourage every community’s favourite larrikin or drinker to have a crack at no drinks for July. 

"Involve your mates, your clubs and your town to get behind your effort. 

"Then take a journey that in my experience you will never forget."

Bendigo Health Foundation director Jane Anderson said Dry July was a wonderful concept.

“By committing to being ‘dry’ for a month, not only are participants doing something good for their own health and encouraging a healthy attitude to alcohol consumption, they are helping us help care for our cancer patients,” she said. 

“By sponsoring participants, you also support our patients and their needs." 

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