YANA Big Love Benefit set for Feb. 22

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Originally published by Comox Valley Record  – January 15, 2019

YANA Big Love Benefit

Interested in attending the Big Love Benefit? Tickets go on sale Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. and are sold online only through YANA Tickit Store. Tickets sell in a matter of minutes. Mark your calendars, set your alarms and join YANA for this upcoming event

On Friday, Feb. 22, a sold-out Florence Filberg Centre will be filled with guests ready to enjoy camaraderie, cuisine and lively bidding on hundreds of generously donated auction items. Among the highlights of this philanthropic evening will be a live auction led by the incomparable auctioneer, Dave Stevens and a delicious dinner provided by Tria Fine Catering. A moving photographic presentation showcasing a YANA family through the lens of photographer Karen McKinnon will round out the evening.

“So many emotions fill that room,” said community relations co-ordinator, Deanne McRae. “It’s a night like no other. It makes you beam with community pride at the level of kindness and caring that shows up.”

Since its inception in 1986, YANA has seen an ever-increasing need for the funding and accommodation assistance founder Sandra Williams envisioned. When she vowed that no Comox Valley family should ever be alone when dealing with the medical needs of their children and pregnant mothers, she likely never imagined how far-reaching YANA’s support for out of town travel would become.

“The increases YANA has seen in the past few years have been dramatic,” said executive director, Kelly Barnie. “We are now helping over 75 per cent more families than just five years ago.”

The Big Love Benefit is YANA’s largest annual fundraiser, netting well over $100,000 each year. The tickets typically sell out online in mere minutes, filling every seat in the house. With the physical capacity for the event unable to change, YANA has continued to search for ways to expand support for the event. The 2019 event will see an online auction component again, this year including the opportunity to bid on four pairs of the coveted Big Love event tickets. In addition, YANA’s board directors, volunteers and staff will be selling raffle tickets in the weeks leading up to the event for a roundtrip WestJet flight for two.

“We’re just so appreciative of the astounding support from our Big Love sponsors, donors and attendees at the event,” said Barnie. “The ability to reach the entire community through the online auction and WestJet raffle will help us to make sure our resources will keep pace with the need.”

YANA’s purpose is to improve access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation for any Comox Valley family with a child or a pregnant mother needing medical care away from home. YANA maintains four furnished apartments near BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and also provides accommodation in Victoria, Nanaimo, and in other treatment locations.

“When a family finds themselves needing our financial, logistical and emotional support, the value it provides them is priceless,” said McRae. “Many times a beautiful circle of giving is created. When a YANA family shares awareness of our services with others, they help make new connections with people who may want to volunteer, donate or fundraise in their honour. YANA is a real community.”

There are many ways to get involved in the YANA Big Love Benefit. You can donate an auction item, become a sponsor, purchase a WestJet raffle ticket or bid in the online auction from January 22nd to February 2nd. For more information on all these opportunities, visit www.yanacomoxvalley.com, email events@yanacomoxvalley.com or call 250-871-0343.

Christmas Crackers on sale NOW!

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Thank you so much to the many volunteers who came together to make our YANA Christmas Crackers! They are available for $3.00 each throughout the Comox Valley. Click here to find out where you can get yours.

New program for YANA families

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We are pleased to be launching a special program for YANA families called YANA Connects. YANA Connects is an opportunity for YANA families to connect online through a private Facebook group. The program also offers families opportunities to gather for shared learning around various topics of interest. It is for parents, or primary caregivers, of a YANA child, past or present.

If you are a primary caregiver of a YANA child, please join us for the first gathering featuring guest speaker Dr. Carolyn Nesbitt, Registered Psychologist. She will address topics relating to coping, stress and anxiety and how it affects relationships with others and with ourselves. Coffee, tea and snacks will be served. The evening is complimentary for YANA families. YANA will provide funding support for babysitting if needed in order to attend.

Filberg Centre Conference Hall (upstairs)
411 Anderton Ave, Courtenay
Wednesday November 7, 2018
7:00pm – 9:00pm

Please RSVP to yanaconnects@yanacomoxvalley.com. If babysitting support is required, please let us know.

Click here for more information.

Comox Valley gives back to the community

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Originally published by Comox Valley Record – Oct 23, 2018

This past spring, Comox Valley’s Gladstone Brewing Co. partnered once again with Brad Harris, a full-time family physician by day and self-taught brewer by night (and owner of the Royston Nano Brewery) for the brew-based fundraiser that resulted in production of Love Potion NEVI (North East Vancouver Island) IPA. Now that final sales have been tallied, more than $5,500 of Gladstone’s proceeds from the beer were split between You Are Not Alone (YANA) Comox Valley and BC Children’s Hospital Oncology – causes close to the hearts of the brewers. Pictured, YANA president Kelly Rusk, Gladstone Brewing Co. marketing manager Marissa Johnson, Royston Nano Brewing brewmaster Brad Harris, YANA community relations co-ordinator Deanne McRae, Gladstone Brewing Co. owner Daniel Sharratt, YANA executive director Kelly Barnie.

Sunnydale Golf and Country Club’s annual Sunnydale Men’s Tillicum Open doubled as a fundraiser for YANA this year.. Congratulations to Jordan Rallison for defending his Champions title and to Gavin Haigh for shooting a career round and capturing the Low Net title. As a result of the efforts by Rob Speer Golf and the Sunnydale Men’s Club, the Tillicum Committee is very happy to be able to donate $1000.00 to YANA (You Are Not Alone) to aid in all the great work the non-profit does in the Comox Valley. We would also like to thank all the sponsors and volunteers who helped make the tournament a success.

Sweet songs by Sweet SantaFe for First Tuesday fundraiser – Oct 2018

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Originally published by Comox Valley Record – Sept 29, 2018

The next 1st Tuesday Fundraisers sponsored by the Mex Pub on Oct. 2 will feature Sweet SantaFe, Michel Rivero and Christine Baxter, presenting The Songs of Leonard Cohen in support of You Are Not Alone (YANA).

Sweet SantaFe’s incendiary spark began during a Spanish/English choral music cultural exchange in Havana Cuba where Cuban born Michel Rivero Mordoch and southern Alberta songwriter Penelope Christine Baxter first met.

Sweet SantaFe has infectious Cuban Trova style rhythms that get you up and dancing, and cinematographic lyrical scenes that paint the most vivid landscapes of life. Sweet SantaFe’s distinct style has been crafted from influences as diverse as Alison Krauss, and Sarah McLachlan, to Pablo Milanes, and Tom Jobim. This unlikely pairing, conceived in the fishing district of Santa Fe, Havana, Cuba evolved as the two seasoned songwriters listened and learned to speak each other’s language through song.

In 2016 Sweet SantaFe moved from Havana, Cuba to Comox, where they began sharing their music with Canadian audiences.

The evening begins with a warmup set by hosts Coast to Coast at 7:30 p.m.

YANA is a local non-profit society that provides accommodation and funding to Comox Valley families who need to travel outside the community for medical treatment for a child under 19 or for a pregnant mother.

YANA was founded in 1986 by Sandra Williams after her family experienced the financial and emotional devastation of having a very sick child who required treatment at Children’s Hospital for many months in Vancouver.

The organization continues to ensure that families in the Comox Valley are not alone when dealing with medical issues for their children and believes that when a child is ill the whole family requires care. It also provides financial support so families can stay focused on the health and wellness of their child.

YANA maintains four fully furnished apartments within walking distance of Children’s Hospital and also assists with finding and funding accommodation in alternate treatment destinations. In addition to providing accommodation, the organization provides a daily, weekly or monthly allotment of funds to help with costs of travel, food, parking and unexpected expenses.

They also provide the Comox Valley Hospital with funds to make available to local families who have a child or an expecting mother who requires emergency transfer to another hospital. To access service YANA ensures a simple, confidential and supportive process that starts with a phone call, an email or a visit to the office.

The Comox Valley Foodbank Society, (CVFS) a regular at the event, will be there to accept food donations for families in the valley who are in need.

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