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Oxford Street takes on Dry July

It's an Aussie fundraiser for charity, which calls upon anyone to give up drinking for the entire month of July and give the proceeds, and of course any donations friends and family would want to make to the cause!

And with Sydney's gay scene on Oxford Street, built around the odd tavern, pub and nightclub - two of the cities more prominent members are going hell for leather in the challenge.

Chip Glenn, one of Australia's most prominent DJ's and Gael Donaldson - one of Oxford Street's most famous faces on the door of events and clubs, as well as part of the fabulous team at Antony Nader's Raw Hairdressers - are taking on the challenge with gusto.

We wanted to know what drove them to give up a huge part of their working life, let alone social experience. The booze.

Gael is not new to Dry July however… we asked her what drove her to participate in the fundraiser "I ask myself that very question every year when all my mates are out socialising and having a few wines and I am home bitching about not being able to drink..;-)" she said, but there is a deeper personal reason behind this for her.

"A few years ago a dear friend Chanel Logo (also known as Bust-Op) lost his battle with stomach cancer. It was an incredibly sad and tough time for Bussy and his loved ones. The staff at the Hospice where he spent his last few precious weeks were angels. They showed compassion, dignity, honesty and humour and helped make his passing an amazing journey. So my main reason for participating is to give something back ..and it's Chanel's Birthday on July 12th. he would have been 39 this year."

With something that involves that level of dedication - Dry July could have additional benefits too. Gale went on to say "It's also a great excuse for a break, a detox for my poor little body and if I lost a few kilos along the way..that'd be good too!"

"I'm determined to see it through this year with no Golden Tickets being redeemed (I wasn't so strong last year ;-) I'll admit it's a struggle, almost every social event involves alcohol, (working in a club at night doesn't help temptation either!) you don't realise how much you rely on a few drinks to have a good time until you can't have them! BUT it's well worth it! I'm looking forward to raising a bit of money and feeling proud of myself."

However Chips road to Dry July was a little more hesitant.

"Initially in my head, there were absolutely no plans to join up to goes booze-less for any reason what so ever. I had friends who said they were taking up the Dry July cause for cancer, and I admired there good graces but it wasn't for me . Even one of my besties, Scottie Lupton who set up the whole DJs United Team wasn't getting a yay from me. It's too friggin' hard in the Dj world NOT to drink!"

But that was not meant to be - Chip took Gael out for her final night "So, anyway, I went out with another fine friend, Gael Donaldson, of Raw Hairdressing on Thursday the 30th June, to drink (very moderately) for her last night before she took up Dry July the next day. We sourced many a wine white, vodka & quite a few shots throughout this gay city that night, and drank with obvious intent. I was doing Gael a favour getting her a little tipsy so she could make it through Dry July with fond memories of a crisp chardonnay or two."

"Anyway, waking up the next morning, I had one filthy mother of a hangover and in that blur of the 1st July 2011, feeling as rancid as humanly possibly - all I could think was I needed Dry July more than it needed me. I signed up to DJs UNITED Dry July Team, pressed enter on my keyboard and then slapped my self in the head for being so impetuous…"

"And here we are, in the middle of July ... Dry - Bloody - As …"

"The first weekend was the absolute worst. A couple of us Dry July-ers all seem compelled to torture ourselves, waltzed into a heaving hot spot on the Sunday, and together worked each other up into the filthiest (and soberest) moods (hahahaha)... desperately thirsty for delicious vodka. It was funny but sooooo hard to do . It seems like everything revolved around a bevyy or six."

"But anyhow I, we, survived and been going along strong, & feel completely amazing. Who would have thought I could have so much energy and get the washing done by 10am? Extra cash in the pocket, no cocky cage feelings after a weekend blinder. Just clear head space and a great feeling that I'm doing something positive for others ... and so far collectively we have raised a fair whack of dosh."

So were there any other reasons for you to do Dry July Chip?

"Yes, for sure - this is for my dad, who passed from cancer a few years back .. because you loved me so much…"

Gael's beneficiary is The Prince of Wales Hospital, you can donate to a great cause by clicking the link.

Chip on the other hand is part of a larger team called "DJ's United" consisting of Chip along with Scottie Lupton, Murray Hood, Jodie Wilkins, Aminah Schmidt, Troy Cox, Suzanne Auerswald, MAtt Effect and Kelly Lynch who are banding together to raise money for the cause.

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