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The $60,000 raised at an auction for Taieri's best crops has ''humbled'' charities on the receiving end.
Cheques of $30,000 each were presented to Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter pilot Graeme Gale and Ebony Johnston, of the Otago Community Hospice, at Taieri Airfield last Wednesday.
Mr Gale said fundraising support was essential to operate the helicopter.
''We cover 28% of New Zealand's land area, but only have 8% of the country's population. This is a tremendous help,'' he said.
Ms Johnston said the funding came at a crucial time for the hospice.
''At the moment we have 200 patients in the programme. It's never been so high before.''
The organisation was ''humbled and grateful'', Ms Johnston said.
The fundraising auction night at Wingatui Racecourse on May 23 was organised by the Taieri Lions and Taieri Rotary clubs.
Growers and suppliers placed bids for crops entered in the competition, Rotary club member Drew Carruthers said.
- Roberts Steven