Ronald McDonald House South Island is hoping to raise more than $50,000 to support Kiwi families via its Host a Roast™
community fundraising event which launches this week.
The event, which has run since 2016, is about bringing people together over a meal, with donations going towards
providing families with free accommodation and support when their child is receiving medical treatment in hospital.
In 2019, Ronald McDonald House South Island became a ‘home away from home’ to 1281 families, saving them more than $1.2
million in accommodation expenses*. Ninety-four percent of families came from the South Island.
Already, the organisation has helped more than 200 families this year, and remained open as an essential service during
the Covid-19 nationwide lockdown.
Host a Roast™ is inspired by the Family Dinner Programme, a meal service where volunteers come into Ronald McDonald
House in Christchurch and cook dinner for families who have spent long days with their child in hospital. This simple
act of eating together and sharing about their day provides families comfort, support and strength at a tough time.
The concept of Host a Roast™ is simple: During the month of July, host a roast and invite your whānau, friends or
colleagues to attend for a $20 donation. This will go towards supporting families who require a 'home away from home'
while needing hospital treatment for their child
Ronald McDonald House South Island Chief Executive Mandy Kennedy says she hopes the event will resonate with the public
as people begin to reunite with friends and family post-lockdown.
“Host a Roast™ is all about celebrating the precious moments created with family and friends around the table. Now, more
than ever, it’s an experience we can all appreciate,” Mrs Kennedy says.
“While it’s called Host a Roast™, past participants have really thought outside the box and hosted morning teas,
lunches, and mystery dining experiences for their guests.”
Like many charities, Ronald McDonald House South Island has had to cancel its major fundraising events this year –
Invercargill, Christchurch and Queenstown Supper Clubs.
“However our commitment to serving families who must travel to Christchurch or Invercargill for their child’s medical
treatment is unwavering,” Mrs Kennedy says.
“Our eyes are firmly fixed on providing the best care and support for families who are going through a tough and
uncertain time, and on the children who need their parents by their side.
“Covid-19 has not, and will not, change this for us.”
The goal is to raise $50,000 through Host a Roast™ – more than double what was raised in 2018 which was its most
The benefit of Host a Roast™ is that it can be done in small groups and at home, so no matter whether the country is
still in Level 2 or have moved into Level 1 by July, people can participate.
Registrations are now open for Host a Roast™ 2020 at www.hostaroast.kiwi
*based on a rate of $140/night