Dry July campaign raised $30,000

CoastCanCare program participants and staff members Wendy Murdoch, Val Joliffe, Jacqueline Vaughan, Marg Smee, Sue Smith, Gayle Errington

The results are in on Central Coast Local Health District’s Dry July campaign, with around $30,000 raised for its CoastCanCare Wellness Program.

The program helps patients, their families, carers and friends cope with a cancer diagnosis through access to free wellbeing programs, education and support during and after treatment.

Over the years, it’s helped hundreds of Central Coast residents come out the other side of their cancer journey a little less worse for wear, but a large part of what has been achieved would not be possible without the generosity of those that participate in and support Dry July.

“The program actually started in 2013 when we were invited to be a part of the annual Dry July appeal.

“Since then, it has gone from strength to strength thanks to the support that people have shown through Dry July as well as donations from the community.

“In that regard, we are very much run by the community for the community,” said CoastCanCare Wellness Program Coordinator, Tia Covi.

With so much of the program tied to community support, Covi said COVID-19 had cast a shadow over this year’s campaign, but it appears that the generosity of locals has stayed strong throughout the pandemic.

“The amount raised is actually on par with last year’s result, which is just incredible when you think about how much people have had to contend with this year.

“People have really continued to see the value in the program, so I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated, supported the efforts of others, or simply made a donation.

“All money raised will help keep this wonderful program available to local cancer patients who really need it,” Covi said.

Aside from helping local cancer patients feel better by doing, a unique aspect of the program is its ability to forge bonds.

“We offer a lot of creative and movement classes to promote wellness and to help patient’s discover new hobbies and develop new skills, but we’ve noticed that the friendships built between patients is what’s really incredible.

“Lots of lifelong friendships have been formed in our program and that’s the kind of support that can’t be replicated or faked.

“We might facilitate the groups, but at the end of the day, it’s the patients that develop them and their relationships that turn them into long term successes,” Covi said.

Dilon Luke