Going dry for a good cause: The Canadian Cancer Society Re-Launches Dry February

One shot of awareness, and one shot of fundraising
By Leah Ching, Editor in Chief

This February, the Canadian Cancer Society is ordering up another round of its successful fundraiser, “Dry Feb”.  Aimed at two simple goals of awareness and fundraising, the campaign challenges Canadians to go “dry” (booze-free) for the month of February and collect donations to support the work done by the CCS. The funds will go toward Canada’s most promising cancer research, prevention, and support services for cancer patients and their families.

As the end of January approaches and many healthy New Year’s resolutions are left to the wayside, participating in Dry Feb may be the ideal challenge needed to kick-start you back into action, while supporting important work within the Canadian medical community. Even for those who have never raised funds or done charity work before, Dry Feb gives you a chance to clear your head, work on getting healthy, and raise funds in a simple, easy way.

The Canadian Cancer Society reports that alcohol is one of the top three leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with as many as 10,000 cancer diagnoses related to alcohol consumption. A sobering fact, this connection between alcohol and cancer remains either unknown or overlooked. A 2015 CCS survey reports that participants incorrectly rank pollution, stress, and exposure to microwave ovens and cell phones ahead of cancer-causing substances like alcohol.

Most Canadians can cite having their lives touched in some way by watching a family member or friend battle with cancer. Due to the work of the Canadian Cancer Society, many advances have been made in the line of cancer treatment and prevention, and campaigns like this allow people to get personally involved in ensuring that this work can continue and advance in making meaningful progress.

To get involved, folks can head on over to DryFeb.ca to donate to an existing campaign, or create their own profile and take the pledge. The site features all the resources you will need, including pledge forms, downloadable posters, fundraising pictures, and social media images to help you solicit for donations.

For those unsure that they can survive an entire month without a sip of their favourite merlot, your friends and family can buy you a “Golden Ticket” through your donation page. A Golden Ticket gives the participant a night off from their challenge. For $25, their night off will still be impactful and help them reach their personal campaign target.

Collectively, Dry Feb participants raised over $48,000 in 2016 for the CCS, and after completing the challenge, 75% of participants surveyed said they would drink less alcohol in the future.

Editor’s note: In support of the work being done by the Canadian Cancer Society, I have set up a personal page for donations and will be going booze-free and actively fundraising for the month of February. Having lost a parent to lung cancer in 2003, I know the importance of prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment. I’ve seen first-hand how expensive treatment can be, how physically and emotionally taxing chemotherapy and radiation treatments are, and how hopeful doctors are about the advances being made every day. I look forward to a day when cancer is unable to touch the lives of individuals and their families in such devastating ways. Consider donating to my campaign at http://www.dryfeb.ca/users/leah-ching.

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