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Charities fundraiser a big buzz
Daily Post, Rotorua Bay of Plenty  by Shauni James
18 Nov 2017
General News - Page 2 - 434 words - ID 875648330 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 747.00cm2

Hundreds gathered to support local charities at the Rotorua Charities Fun'raiser, with the venue buzzing and full of laughter.

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

Formerly the Rotorua Charity Luncheon, proceeds from this year's event will go 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.

Mike Bannister, trustee of the Rotorua Charities Fun'raiser Charitable Trust, said the atmosphere and number of people supporting the event was fantastic.

"This year has been the most successful in terms of ticket sales and each year there are different businesses supporting the function, raising sums for the Rotorua community." He said there had been about 460 tickets sold and as at 3.50pm they had raised $68,000 from live and silent auctions.

Bannister said there was great audience interaction, with a lot of laughter and enjoyment.

"We trust everybody will have a great time and obviously the Rotorua community will benefit as a result." He said this year they invited applications from Rotorua charities and they had 27 applications, from which they selected eight.

Bannister said there were several organisations they did not know existed which had applied, and they selected two of them among the eight.

He said in future years they would follow the same process so they could spread the collective funds.

"We would like to think we are capturing a wide selection of Rotorua life needing assistance with their funding." The guest speaker was All Blacks Sevens legend Eric Rush, and entertainment was provided by Amjazz can-can dancers and Sunrise Rockers.

Rush had the audience in laughter with his tales, which included his experiences taking part in a boxing match fundraiser in London and meeting the Queen and Princess Diana at Buckingham Palace.

Sports journalist and presenter Clint Brown was MC.

There was a range of live auction items up for grabs, including a jersey from Team New Zealand's Peter Burling, which went for $2700, and Forsyth Barr Commentary Box Passes with accommodation and airfares for two people, which went for $2800.

Donated at the last minute, a signed drawing by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern went for $900.

There were 120 items up for grabs in the silent auction.

These items included wine, bags, local experiences, books and a child's rocker boat.

Caption Text:
SOLD: The live auctions at the event are all go.
PHOTOS/STEPHEN PARKER
SPEAKER: All Blacks Sevens legend Eric Rush has the audience laughing.
CROWD: People cram into the event to help raise money.

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