A man who has dedicated himself to supporting good causes is celebrating after helping various groups raise more than £160,000.

Rotarian Mike Parker has been helping people to raise money for their groups over the past six years by organising regular race nights in Weymouth.

While he helps to organise each event and supplies the equipment for the virtual horse races, he asks the group whose turn it is for a race night to get a number of their supporters together for a fun evening and sell tickets for £10 each which includes a fish and chip supper.

Initially the evenings were held at Weymouth Rotary Club HQ Pilgrim House and more recently at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club, and now at the Weymouth Angling Club. Mike ensures there is a bar available at venues and plenty of space for supporters.

To date, Mike has run nearly 70 race nights. The very first one was held for the local arm of Read Easy back in 2014. Since then the client list has grown and has included junior football clubs, Dorset Blind, M.V. Freedom, Weldmar, numerous Friends' associations, plus individuals wanting to raise funds to help their own causes or those of friends needing help.

By 2018 Mike had passed the £100,000 mark for funds raised, and now in 2020 has just passed the £160,000 mark.

Retired businessman Mike, 72, said he was thrilled with the success of the race nights and will continue organising more in future. The coronavirus crisis has meant some forthcoming events have had to be postponed but Mike hopes to restart the programme towards the summer.

Dennis Corbett from Weymouth Rotary Club said: "In this modern day it is quite remarkable for one individual to come up with an idea, and successfully convert it into such a tremendous success.

"Mike, who retired from business a few years ago, has divided his time between the Rotary Club of Weymouth, where he was President, to more recently Melcombe Regis Rotary Club.

"Mike still makes time and maintains his enthusiasm for race nights.

Mike's unique approach means that your good cause would reasonably expect to raise a minimum of £1,500 in just one night of fun. "His record stands at just over £5,000, so there lies the challenge."

If your group is interested in holding a race night call Mike on 07791 800781.