Their shout: ambassadors sound out that Dry July campaign is near

Trisha Collins, Sarah Adams, Nicole Sheppard, Steve Gibbeson, Anthony Arnold, Katie Richardson, Nicola Ryan and Anne Cookson are taking part in Wollongong Hospital's Dry July campaign. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Trisha Collins, Sarah Adams, Nicole Sheppard, Steve Gibbeson, Anthony Arnold, Katie Richardson, Nicola Ryan and Anne Cookson are taking part in Wollongong Hospital's Dry July campaign. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Wollongong Hospital's Dry July ambassadors are so excited about this year's campaign that they're shouting their message from the rooftops.

General manager Nicole Sheppard and director of cancer services Anthony Arnold were among a group of staff who made their way to the top of the hospital's $106 million redevelopment site to launch the fund-raiser.

Organisers hope to raise more than $100,000 this year to provide much-needed equipment and services for the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre at the hospital.

The centre is one of 40 beneficiaries from throughout Australia and New Zealand in this year's Dry July campaign.

Mr Arnold said the concept of the fund-raiser was simple - give up alcohol for the month to support adults living with cancer.

"This is our fourth year of taking part and to date we have raised more than $250,000 for the centre," Mr Arnold said.

"We want to make 2014 our biggest year yet and are hoping to break the $100,000 target and get more than 500 people to join our team.

"It's a really fun, light-hearted way to raise money for adult cancer patients and for me personally, it's a sign of respect for friends and family touched by cancer."

Money raised this year will help fund a number of items on the cancer care centre's "wishlist", including an electronic beeper system for patients waiting for treatment or consultations.

"They will have a beeper that buzzes and vibrates, which allows them to go outside or go and get something to eat, rather than having to camp out in the waiting room, so it gives them a bit more freedom," Mr Arnold said.

Ms Sheppard is joining the campaign for the first time and said giving up alcohol for July was "a small gesture for a great outcome".

"This fund-raiser has had great success in previous years ... and promotes a healthy rivalry among teams, family and friends," she said.

Former Miss World Australia Katie Richardson, a research assistant at the hospital, is also taking on the challenge.

"Having studied nutrition I support this campaign as not only does it raise much-needed funds, it also promotes healthy lifestyle behaviours," she said.

"We know that about 30 to 35 per cent of cancers are lifestyle related, so I think the local health district's support of Dry July sets a good example for the rest of the community."

To join or donate to the Wollongong hospital team go to dryjuly.com/team/illawarra cancercarecentre

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