We are accustomed to our children personifying vibrance; a radiant vision of endless energy. So when our children are not well, it tests everything we know to be true and rocks us to our core. For more than 15 years, Ronald McDonald House South Island has been a broad-shouldered, and constant companion to families with children undergoing medical treatment.
Thanks to an incredible network of allies - the generous New Zealand public and sponsor partners - the non-profit organisation can keep its doors open 24/7, 365 days a year.
It is through fundraising and amazing initiatives like Supper Club that funds are able to be raised for more than 1200 families. They are provided with accommodation and support free-of-charge to help relieve some of the everyday stresses they face.
Ronald McDonald South Island Chief Executive, Mandy Kennedy, says that Supper Club is one such event held annually in Christchurch. “It’s a major fundraiser with 100 percent of the profits used to help families stay at Ronald Mcdonald House, free of charge.
“We simply give families with a hospitalised child what they need most - each other. We could not continue to provide our services without the generous support from partners like Holly Lea and The Russley Village.”
The 2019 Supper Club experience - as always - was an enormous success. “The pre-dinner venue was the beautiful Isaac Theatre Royal. Table buyers and guests were welcomed by Ronald McDonald House South Island Board Chair, Paul Deavoll, and myself, and made their way on-stage to enjoy cocktails and canapés with entertainment provided by Christ’s College band Navigate.
“This year, one of the parents - Pat Connell, father of Lachie Connell - spoke to the guests about his family's experience of staying at Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch for 229 nights.
“Pat’s story resonated with the crowd and the atmosphere became electric as Auctioneer Mark McGoldrick got the live auction underway. There were diamond earrings, landscape packages, a holiday to Fiji staying at Vomo Island Resort to name a few. The event raised $107,000 in total.
“Guests were delighted when they exited the theatre to find their mode of transport for the evening lined up on Kilmore Street – vintage cars and Jaguars kindly provided by the Christchurch Vintage Car Club and Jaguar Car Club. The evening concluded at the after-dining venue, Barberra, where guests mingled and danced until the small hours.”