Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Dry July for hotel proprietor

The Union Hotel’s Lyn Edwards is taking part in Dry July.

BARBARA SUNGAILA July 24, 2014 3:37am

Lyn Edwards.

Union Hotel proprietor Lyn Edwards is on the wagon for a good cause.

She joined Dry July and pledged to stay alcohol-free for a month after she lost her father to cancer at the start of June.

Mrs Edwards said her father’s cancer journey highlighted the importance of end-of-life care.

‘‘We decided as a family to have dad stay at home with us — we cared for him right to the end and he died at home,’’ she said.

‘‘He was given only three weeks to live and he lived for three weeks and one day.’’

Mrs Edwards, who also works at Bendigo Health, said staying at home was sadly not possible for some terminally-ill people.

‘‘When I came back to work ... Bendigo Health was promoting Dry July,’’ she said.

‘‘And the money that’s raised is going to (refurbish) the Nolan St accommodation units.

‘‘They are for patients with cancer — adult patients — where they can go to rest in their final days.

‘‘That was important to me because I saw how dad suffered and struggled and it would just be so nice (if everyone could have) some sort of homely environment instead of hospital.

‘‘Last year, the Bendigo hospital, through Dry July, raised $90,000 for the oncology unit ... and this year they’re doing it for the Nolan St properties.

‘‘As it is, Dry July has over 19,000 members — they’ve already raised over a million dollars as a country.

‘‘The leader at this stage is a gentleman from Western Australia who’s raised $43,000.’’

Fundraisers choose to support a particular cause under the Dry July umbrella.

‘‘I’m up to round about $1200,’’ Mrs Edwards said.

This has been brought in through online pledges, Tupperware parties, collection tins and raffles at the hotel — raffle tickets are still available for a handmade doll and a load of firewood.

‘‘The Union Hotel itself donated $100,’’ Mrs Edwards said.

‘‘I was just amazed — families have donated $100, $10, or whatever they could.

‘‘It’s what they could offer and it all adds up.

‘‘There’s nothing you can do to bring back the people that have gone but you can remember them in a certain way.

‘‘It’s a good feeling to know you’ve done something.’’

Mrs Edwards said several people had commented on the irony of a publican staying sober for a month.

‘‘But for me it’s easy to do,’’ she said.

‘‘Thirty days without alcohol is easy because at the end of the day you know what it’s for.’’

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