$5000 raised for baby

More than $5000 is thought to have been raised for an Arrowtown baby, cancer battler Sydney Boden, as the result of a popular family fun day in the village on Saturday.

Fun day co-organiser Meron Blakey, working with Debbie Bal and about 30 volunteers, said yesterday the 13 buckets containing all the gold coin donations will be counted and deposited in the ANZ Bank account in Sydney's name today. Well-wishers can deposit donations in the account at any ANZ branch.

The 4-month-old girl is fighting neuroblastoma, a cancerous tumour in her abdomen, which has spread to her spinal column.

The baby returned home from Christchurch Hospital after surgery to reduce pressure on her spinal cord, but she undergoes MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans every month and loved ones are maintaining a ''wait-and-see'' vigil on her condition.

An estimated 400 children, plus parents and grandparents, flocked to the village green for bouncy castles, a petting zoo courtesy of Remarkable Vets, horse rides, puppet shows by Sydney's mother Zoe Boden, games with entertainer Milly Bea, a raffle with 50 prizes and other attractions. Brendan Quill acted as master of ceremonies.

Cup & Cake, Mooch and Rata restaurant were among the businesses which gave vouchers as prizes.

The ''hottest home bakers'' competition proved especially popular, attracting 29 entries and many spectators. All the cakes sold in an hour and the profits went to the cause.

''Bod [Sydney's father David Boden] and Zoe, Debbie and I would so love to do a huge thank you for all the people who make days like this a success,'' Mrs Blakely said.