Wanaka's LaRose family hadn't ever had the opportunity to do a "just us" holiday.
But that changed in January when Jason and Emma, and their two children Liliana, 10, and Elijah, 8, spent a week at Ngongotaha's Ronald McDonald retreat, creating "amazing family memories that will linger for a long time".
Jason said the family had been involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities for almost six years after Elijah was diagnosed with cancer shortly after his first birthday.
"From the initial diagnosis things moved very fast and included surgery, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. We've spent a large amount of time at Auckland's Ronald McDonald House and still travel from Wanaka to Auckland three or four times a year for what we call Elijah's warrant of fitness."
Jason said because of long-term effects of Elijah's disease, the family would probably remain in the system forever.
"Since Elijah's first birthday we've obviously done a lot of travelling but there hasn't been too many holidays. If we have managed to get away we've gone to stay with family and friends, never a just us holiday.
"It's hard to put into words how much the time at Rotorua meant to us as a family."
After arriving at the house, the family consulted the "VIP book" for entertainment ideas.
"Included in this book were what seemed like every attraction in Rotorua and vouchers to go to them. We named it the VIP book and decided we would try and do as much as we could cram into each day, we even coloured in things we had done to mark them off."
Downtime, he said, was lunchtime but the rest of the day was activity-filled.
"We went to the Polynesian Spa, we went to the mud pools, we went on the luge, we basically went everywhere we could. We also went to McDonald's Rotorua and used our vouchers there."
Jason said he initially had reservations as to how the family would be treated turning up with vouchers but employees at each of the venues, and in fact everyone they met in Rotorua, were amazing.
"We presented our vouchers and they welcomed us in like family. It was incredibly humbling and made us feel normal, like any other punter at the attractions. That was huge in itself."
Jason described the Ngongotaha retreat as superb.
"The lake view is stunning and the house itself is so clean and fresh and family-friendly. When you travel the chemotherapy journey you become cleanliness-obsessed so to come into a house so clean was great.
"The kids absolutely loved it, giggling away together way into the night.
"My kids love going on holiday but the time in Rotorua took things to another level. It was just brilliant."
He said he and his family fully supported anything that supported the running of the retreat and thought the upcoming Supper Club was a great fundraiser for the community to get behind.
This year's Supper Club goes ahead on March 7. Last year's event raised $142,000 for the Rotorua retreats.