'Thanks not enough'

04:00, Sep 17 2012
Ruby Baird
Invercargill toddler Ruby Baird.

The father of an Invercargill toddler who lost her eye after being diagnosed with cancer says the word ''thanks'' cannot express the gratitude he feels towards those who have rallied behind the two-year-old.

A quiz night held to help little Ruby Baird, who had an operation to remove her right eye after she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma – a rare form of cancer of the retina – raised more than $7000.

Ruby's father Hamish Baird said his family was stunned at the level of kindness shown by those who had dug in deep for his little girl.

''We couldn't believe it, to be perfectly honest. It just goes to show that there are still the good people out there,'' Mr Baird said.

''We tried to think of a different word other than 'humbling', because it doesn't really account for how we feel about what everybody's done for us,'' he said.

Middle School had done an incredible job in organising the event. ''It's phenomenal. The response we've had - thanks just doesn't really cover it.''

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Mr Baird and his wife Tina both went to the quiz night ''but we didn't do that well''.

''That last round was a killer. It was a great night out, though,'' Mr Baird said.

Ruby was adjusting to things like getting into the routine of wearing protective glasses and sunglasses well, he said.

''She's pretty robust. She just bounces around.''

Middle School assistant principal Louise Dickson said the quiz night, held at the Eastern Suburbs Tavern on Thursday night, attracted more than 200 people.

She was pleased with ''the fact that people opened their wallets with their hearts''.

It raised more than $7000 for the Baird family and more was also expected to come in through silent auctions the school was holding for Ruby, Ms Dickson said.

Any prizes unclaimed from the fundraising efforts would go to the appeal for Zane Strudwicke, who has a terminal cancer, she said.

The Southland Times