Neurological Foundation - Chair of Neurosurgery

Upper Clutha & the regions supports campaign

March 2012

Upper Clutha quilters will spend today and tomorrow making a quilt which will be raffled to raise funds for the neurosurgery campaign.

Christofer Robyn Quilts owners Robyn van Reenen and Chris Bartlett are driving the fundraising project, one of many which quilters in the Upper Clutha have been involved with over the years.

Mrs van Reenen said about $50,000 had been raised for various causes by the quilters, including $3500 for the victims of the Australian bushfires three years ago.

The campaign to raise $3 million to fund a chair in neurosurgery to lead a research unit centre of excellence in neurosurgery at the University of Otago in Dunedin was a cause which appealed to everyone participating in the latest quilting effort.

"Most of us have had experience ... with having to travel to Dunedin for health reasons or emergency reasons and that's more than far enough to go," Mrs van Reenen said.

"The idea of establishing the [neurosurgery] chair means it's set in concrete. It's there to stay."

Mrs van Reenen encouraged people to come down to the National Bank in Wanaka to "check out the progress" on the quilt project and made a plea for helpers willing to sell raffle tickets. A winner would be drawn on March 30.

The neurosurgery campaign was launched on January 20.

Early last week, the campaign reached the halfway point, with more than $1.5 million raised from public donations.

In Balclutha, a four-hour virtual triathlon and scooter races raised $2500 for the neurosurgery campaign.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan, with wife Allyson and Steve Ensor raised $1710 of that total through sponsorship of their team as they tackled the virtual triathlon.

Neurosurgery campaign project manager Irene Mosley said the two events were great ways to raise funds as "every little bit counts".

Oamaru woman Judy Stevenson raised $218 for the southern neurosurgery campaign from her leap-year payday fundraising project.

Ms Stevenson had a stand outside the Otago Daily Times office in Oamaru yesterday, from which she encouraged people to give a portion of their pay to the appeal which aims to raise $3 million for the chair in neurosurgery.

Her reasoning was that as the date only occurred once every four years, it was a pay day "bonus" for most workers.

Some people also took appeal envelopes away, which could be used for additional donations, she said.