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More than $16,000 was raised for the Dunedin neurosurgery campaign in Arrowtown on Saturday night, making it the largest fundraiser for the cause in the Queenstown area.
Chair of neurosurgery campaign project manager Irene Mosley said the sold-out Brains and Brawn night, which included a dinner, an auction and rugby on a cinema screen, "exceeded all expectations".
Mark Wilson, of Queenstown, said he "benefited greatly" from the brain surgery he had in Dunedin in 2009 and on Saturday night he put his fingers behind the fundraiser to help others.
The Neurological Foundation and University of Otago are raising $3 million to establish a centre of academic excellence in neurosurgery at the university and to employ a head of research who will also work as a third neurosurgeon at Dunedin Hospital.
That person, leading Belgian neurosurgeon and brain researcher Dirk de Ridder, was appointed last month and will take up his roles in February.
By yesterday, $2,493,204 of the $3 million had been raised.