The Harcourts House Party was run by the Rotary Club of Christchurch Sunrise on the 11th September 2005.
This project raised $386,000 for Ronald McDonald House South Island.
The project was conceived, planned and managed by members of the Rotary Club of Christchurch Sunrise.
This planning for this project covered a period of over three Presidential terms. The “House Party” was a
combination of an online auction, live auctions and included the auction of a fully furnished home and section
as finale of a live television entertainment show, loosely based on the telethons of old.
The project was in support of Ronald McDonald House South Island (“RMDH”). RMDH provides accommodation for families outside of Christchurch while their children are in the care of Christchurch
Hospital. Prior to RMDH there was no free organised accommodation for families at this time of need. For this reason the greatest users are the rest of the South Island. Because of this the House Party galvanised support from Rotary Clubs in District 9970 and 9980, and from sponsors throughout the South Island.
In addition to clearing their outstanding mortgages, the project provided a major promotion to their constituency throughout the South Island, and has resulted in a surge in ongoing funding for the organization.
They receive no Government funding so are totally reliant on donations.
This project raised $386,000 for RMDH and is believed to be the largest single fundraising event by a New Zealand Rotary Club.

The project involved the whole club membership for a considerable period of time. Members donated goods for the auction, and spent considerable time liaising with other clubs, sponsors, CTV, and other Media to promote the event. Importantly every club member was involved in helping on the day of the Auction. More than 200 items were donated for the online auction, which opened for bids 10 days prior to the House Party, and closed off during the show. Bids were taken on “Trade Me” for everything from a guided fishing tour and an asphalt driveway, to sports memorabilia and a picture signed by former US president, Jimmy Carter. Six items were auctioned “live” at the show, which was produced and broadcast by Christchurch TV. The key item of bidding interest was the Harcourts, Horncastle Home, a newly constructed fully furnished and landscaped 4 bedroom + study home. All goods and labour for the house were donated, right down to the full wine cellar.
“As well as raising a substantial sum, the House Party has made the public much more aware of what Rotary does in the community”, said Malcolm de Joux, Chairman of the House Party organising committee of the club.
Carole French, Fundraising and Communications Manager for Ronald McDonald House South Island said, “Being able to clear our mortgage is a significant milestone. The Harcourts House Party has also raised awareness of the accommodation and support we provide free of charge to families of seriously ill children who are undergoing treatment in Christchurch hospitals. Our sincere thanks to Rotary for all their efforts.”
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