Queenstowners fundraiser during Dry July


Helping a charity and resting their livers is motivating two Queenstown businesswomen to go booze-free this month. 

Real estate agent Larissa Lynch and Nicole Bell – Mountain Scene’s sales manager – are among a dozen locals participating in Dry July, a charity aimed at improving the wellbeing of adult cancer patients. 

It’s Bell’s third dry July in a row. 

“My mum died of cancer and I spent a good month nursing her before she went into hospice so I know what it’s like for people living with cancer.” 

Bell raised $1000 for the charity two years ago, didn’t fundraise last year – “I just did it for the liver” – and has so far raised more than $200 this month. 

Bell says going booze-free isn’t too hard. 

“After Winter Festival, it’s a good break. 

“You’ve kind of made that commitment and you just get on with it. 

“You also substitute booze with ginger beer and lemon, lime and bitters. 

“I also keep my husband happy – he likes it that one month a year I can sober-drive him.” 

Not that she doesn’t look forward to August 1: “I’ve already got plans for the afternoon – I haven’t told the boss yet, though.” 

Lynch says she’s never made the decision to cut booze for any length of time: “Why would I? Wine is the goddamn best thing I’ve ever been given.” 

However, she says she’s always up for a challenge and says Dry July is a great cause – “these people living with cancer don’t have a choice”. 

Lynch, who’s so far raised $415, says the past two weeks have accentuated “what a drinking culture we live in”. 

“Almost every day I have to decline a drink but it’s also the perfect opportunity to bring up the cause every time.” 

Challenges so far have included resisting Amisfield bubbles on the opening day of The Remarkables Ski Area and at a good friend’s housewarming. 

Looming is a leaving party for her favourite Swedish friend this week and a poorly-timed July 31 work dinner. 

Lynch says the cause is steeling her to stay sober: “If this was for myself, I’d have failed by now.” 

Anyone wishing to help Bell and Lynch with their fundraising can go online to www.dryjuly.co.nz and enter either of their names.