Mitch meets Dry July task, so dad pays up

By Jamie Lowe

Mitch Jefferies has been overwhelmed with support from the local community after completing Dry July.

The 21 year-old smashed his fundraising goal of $500, raising $2,254.70 for the McGrath Foundation while abstaining from alcohol for the month of July.

Helping him to get such an amazing amount was a challenge from his father Andrew Jefferies.

Despite having a Golden Ticket to be able to have a night off from abstaining from alcohol, Andrew promised to donate $500 if his son avoided drinking for the whole month.

He lived up to his promise on Saturday, donating the money to Mitch while having a celebratory lunch — and drink — at the White Lion Hotel.

‘‘Dad tried his best to get me to drink,’’ he said.

‘‘He’d always go to the dinner table with two drinks, leaving one in front of my plate.

‘‘After he realised it wasn’t working he tried to support me more by not drinking for the last week. That only lasted three days though, he ended up donating an extra $25 for his own Golden Ticket.

‘‘Honestly, the thought of him coughing up $500 helped me stay away from alcohol.

‘‘I also enjoyed being up earlier on Sundays and not feeling sick.’’

While he admitted he tried his best to get Mitch to falter, Andrew said he was extremely proud of his son’s efforts.

‘‘I was doing my best to crack him and leaving open beer lying around and drinking in his face, but he was very committed,’’ Andrew said.

‘‘He didn’t even eat his grandma’s fruit cake because it had sherry in it.

‘‘It was good to see the community support him too. We had a lot people coming into the shop to donate.

‘‘While it hurt to cough up $500, knowing he exceeded his goal and actually focused on the bigger picture of helping those in need makes me proud.’’

The promise of bonus funding was a sweetener for Mitch, but he said the cause was all the inspiration he needed.

He thanked the community for supporting him to raise vital funds to improve the comfort and wellbeing of people affected by cancer. 

‘‘It’s unreal; the support from the community has been amazing,’’ Mitch said.

‘‘I honestly thought before I started that I would be able to raise more than $500, but I didn’t think it would be this much.

‘‘I’ll admit that it wasn’t easy. My first weekend of Dry July I had three of my friends celebrating their 21st birthdays.

‘‘But I got through with my mind focused on the cause I was doing this for.’’