The Waitaki District contributed more than $65,000 to the Neurological Foundation Southern Neurosurgery project, which passed its goal of $3 million on Saturday.
The future of the southern neurosurgery service is now assured, with a $100,000 donation from RD Petroleum which got the campaign over the finish line.
Project manager Irene Mosley said the donation was a wonderful way to reach the target and the support from around the South had exceeded all expectations.
"This has been a most successful campaign from Day One, but there is always the risk that the target will not be met and during the year there were a couple of lulls in the fundraising that had me concerned," she said.
"For me, to have reached the $3 million mark in under 11 months is testament to the passion of the good people of Otago and Southland who have taken this challenge on.
"I think it is a wonderful example of the way communities in the South will work together for a common cause when it is one they feel strongly about."
She said fundraising events around the regions, such as the Community Concert in Oamaru, was what the "peoples' project" was all about.
"As you can expect, the closer to Dunedin, the more people were interested in contributing," she said. She said it showed the resilience of Otago and Southland people, that rather than moaning, they could see that it was a really positive way to improve the service.
"For me, personally, it has been the most amazing year. I have spoken to over 100 community groups and organisations during the year and have never met so many positive, wonderful people all working away in their own communities helping in many ways," she said.
"To me this is what makes New Zealand, and the South in particular, such a special place. We still care and we still know how to get stuck in and find a solution without waiting for someone else to fix the problem."
A number of fundraisers are still in the planning stages and these will continue.
The official wind-up of the campaign will take place in February when Professor Dirk de Ridder, the third neurosurgeon for the service, arrives in Dunedin, completing the full complement of surgeons for the Dunedin hub of the South Island Neurosurgical Service.
While the campaign will end in February, donations can still be made to the Neurological Foundation, which will continue to receive and process donations on behalf of this project in the future.
"The more we get now the better for its long-term sustainability," Ms Mosley said.