'Grateful' was the word that kept popping up as the combined rotary clubs of Rotorua handed over the funds raised for local charities.

On November 17 hundreds gathered to support local charities at the Rotorua Charities Fun'raiser.

The annual fundraiser, run by the city's rotary clubs, was held at the Energy Events Centre.

Formerly the Rotorua Charity Luncheon, proceeds from this year's event went to eight chosen charities - Diabetes NZ, Children's Art House, Parkinsons Central Plateau, Kiwi Can, Empowered Learning Trust, Kimiora Community Trust, Rotorua Mountain Bike Club and Citizens Advice Bureau.

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The money raised was split evenly between the charities, with each receiving $9000.

The cheques were handed over to representatives of the charities on Tuesday evening, at a dinner held at the Princes Gate Hotel.

Event chairman Don Gollan said he hoped all the charities knew how much difference they made to life in the Rotorua community and hoped the money would make a difference to the organisations.

Glenys Searancke from Parkinsons Central Plateau thanked the combined rotary clubs from "the bottom of her heart" for the cheque.

She says the organisation's numbers are increasing but the condition is being diagnosed earlier which is excellent.

Karen Barker from Empowered Learning says the organisation helps young people reach their potential, alongside schools and other community groups.

She says one of the things the money will be put to is finding glasses for underprivileged children.

"Thank you so much to the Rotary clubs. You open your arms to the community and help us do what we do. We couldn't do what we do without you."

Barbara Jenks from the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club says the money will be put to its First Response Unit which helps injured riders out in the forest.

She thanked the rotary clubs for their hard work.

"I was most impressed with what went on at the lunch. Obviously a huge amount of work went into it."

Citizens Advice Bureau Rotorua manager Jane Eynon-Richards says she jumped for joy when she heard they were a recipient this year.

"We have to scrimp, save and beg like everyone else, so this is just wonderful."