By Luke Voogt
Newtown developer Rory Costelloe and Geelong Cats champion Billy Brownless celebrated with a few frothies on Monday night after topping the nation’s Dry July fundraising.
Mr Costelloe was the highest individual fundraiser in Australia after matching his donors dollar-for-dollar in the last week to boost his tally by more than $20,000.
He chipped in about $12,600 himself, taking his tally to $31,787 for Andrew Love Cancer Centre in memory of his younger brother Justin, who died of cancer in 2018.
“It was an amazing show of support,” he said, after a month of abstaining from booze.
“It’s great that so many people stepped up to support me in a big way. My mother and siblings are very grateful.”
The Villawood Properties founder was part of Billy’s Frothy Fund, which raised $82,164, the most of any Dry July team across Australia.
He joined the champion goal-kicker at his pub, The Cremorne Hotel, in Newtown to draw the winner of a Geelong Cats jumper signed by the current team.
Donor Alyce Matthies won the jumper, organised thanks to another former Cats champion, Andrew Mackie.
“If they win the premiership this year, that jumper will be hot property,” Mr Costolloe said.
The money raised by Billy’s Frothy Fund will assist local people and organisations caring for cancer patients and their families.
“Practically everyone knows somebody whose life has been turned upside down by cancer,” Mr Costelloe said.
“Dry July is a great way to help make their battle a bit easier.”