Campaign total boosted

The organisers of a campaign to ensure Dunedin has world-class neurosurgery research and teaching staff are rapidly approaching their $3 million target.

Donations totalling $100,000 in less than 10 days had taken the fund to $2.6 million, project manager Irene Moseley said yesterday.

The rapid climb in funds included $5000 from the Maniototo Lions Club, which holds an annual Steptoe auction and donates funds raised to health projects.

Club secretary Eddie Shea said clubs throughout the south had put out the challenge and were hoping about $100,000 could be raised for the project collectively.

Substantial personal donations had also been received, with the the balance coming from Austen Haig's ongoing fundraising efforts, collecting sponsorship by training for next month's Dunedin Moro Half-marathon, she said.

The campaign is establishing a fund from which a Neurological Foundation Chair of Neurosurgery position will be permanently funded.

Belgian neurosurgeon and brain researcher Dirk De Ridder is the first person appointed to the position and will begin his work in February, dividing his time equally between clinical work at Dunedin Hospital for the Southern District Health Board and research and teaching at the University of Otago.

Many clubs, organisations and individuals were organising events to help reach the $3 million target by the end of this year, Ms Moseley said.

The events included a "Brains and Brawn" night in Arrowtown next Saturday, a book sale organised by the Gore Lions Club and a car show in Dunedin next month.


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