$60,000 raised 'simply superb'

 James Gare (2), of Alexandra, tries out a rocking chair during one of three auctions and garage sales held simultaneously on Saturday to raise funds for a CT scanner suite at Dunstan Hospital. Rotary and Lions clubs in Alexandra, Cromwell and Wanaka organised the events, and James was at the Alexandra auction. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
James Gare (2), of Alexandra, tries out a rocking chair during one of three auctions and garage sales held simultaneously on Saturday to raise funds for a CT scanner suite at Dunstan Hospital. Rotary and Lions clubs in Alexandra, Cromwell and Wanaka organised the events, and James was at the Alexandra auction. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
Support for simultaneous auctions and garage sales in three towns on Saturday, which raised a total of more than $60,000 for the CT scanner suite at Dunstan Hospital, was ''simply superb''. Russell McGeorge, the chairman of Central Otago Health Services Ltd which runs the hospital, made that comment yesterday

about the groundswell of support for the project. Lion and Rotary clubs in Alexandra, Cromwell and Wanaka joined forces to stage auctions and garage sales in those towns and one of the conveners, Cromwell Lions Club president Wayne Collie, said the venture involved more than 400 volunteers and was ''hugely successful''.

''We won't know the final tally until Wednesday but we've raised in excess of $60,000 - and that's a conservative estimate,'' he said. It was the first time the service clubs had worked together on a major project like this. The organisers appreciated the support shown by the public, donating goods and buying items at the auctions and garage sales. The clubs intended to raise $150,000 for the fit-out of the suite and were well on track to reach that target, with other fundraising ventures in the pipeline, Mr Collie said.

A series of public meetings, held in Alexandra, Cromwell and Wanaka at the end of 2011 to gauge the support for a CT scanner to be based at Dunstan attracted 700 people.

The issue of where the equipment should be sited to serve the wider Central Otago-Queenstown Lakes area became

a contentious one, but the Southern District Health board decided in June to install two - one at Dunstan and one at Lakes District Hospital in Frankton.

It decided the Dunstan scanner should be installed as soon as possible to serve the wider area, while the second one would be in place within two years. Mr McGeorge went to all three auctions and garage sales on Saturday.

''The community support for Dunstan has always been great but this was simply superb. It's breathtaking when you see it in action like this.

''It's amazing to see the way Rotary and Lions and all the people have got in behind it - I'm in awe of what can be achieved.''

The scanner equipment was ''on the water'', on its way to New Zealand from Germany and should be installed soon after it arrived at the end of March, he said.

- lynda.van.kempen@odt.co.nz