YANA Big Love Gala sells out in seconds; livestream option available

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record – Jan. 28, 2023

YANA is excited to host the upcoming Big Love Benefit Gala, to be held on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Florence Filberg Centre.

This community event will bring together supporters of YANA families, in person and online, to celebrate and show their support.

This year’s gala promises to be a night of entertainment, great food, and an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the local families YANA supports. The event will be livestreamed for those who missed the ticket sales or wish to attend virtually. Tickets went on sale on Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. and were sold out almost immediately, prompting questions from prospective ticket buyers as to whether there was a glitch in the system.

“We started getting messages right away,” said YANA executive director, Kelly Barnie. “Our YANA website crashed momentarily from the traffic, and a few tickets were released from carts, and purchased by others still in the cue. We posted the official notice at 10:39 a.m. that all 336 seats were sold out. It was definitely exciting!”

YANA is actively working on connecting people on the waitlist with people who have extra tickets available.

“All the adjustments we were forced to make over the last two years now have made it possible for everyone who wants to be a part of YANA’s Big Love Benefit to join the fun,” said Barnie.

The 350 attendees and volunteers at the event in person will be joined by countless more YANA supporters, as the event will be livestreamed from the Signature Venue at the Filberg Centre. Livestream tickets are by donation and include access to the massive online auction from Feb. 14-24, and virtual access to the full gala event on Feb. 24, featuring Karen McKinnon’s feature presentation, prize draws, extraordinary live auction, and more!

“Everyone who makes a donation for their livestream ticket receives a tax donation for the full amount,” said Barnie. “We have seen donations of $10 and donations of $1,000 for these tickets. Some people will be viewing alone comfy in their PJs, and some will be creating a lavish at-home gala. We love that they can make a night that suits them best.”

In addition to the in-person event, livestream and auction, people can also help the fundraising total by purchasing 50/50 and WestJet raffle tickets online.

“These are a chance to win, but a guarantee of extra support for YANA families,” said Kelly Barnie.

New this year for those attending the event virtually, there are two more exciting chances to win. Anyone hosting or attending a livestream viewing party on Feb. 24 can get entered to win “Pre-Sale Access” to purchase up to eight tickets to the 2024 in-person gala event.

To be eligible, the viewing party must include four or more people who are all registered to bid in the online auction, and at least one group selfie photo of the partygoers enjoying the livestream together must be posted on Facebook or Instagram with the #YANABigLove. Each partygoer can enter to win.

In addition, every person who registers in the online auction and places at least one bid will be entered to win a 30-minute flightseeing or charter flight from BC Air for up to three people to experience Vancouver Island like never before.

The team of staff and volunteers at YANA are looking forward to sharing the magic of this marquee event with an unlimited number of guests.

“We are so grateful to be in the incredible position that historically, our biggest ‘problem’ with the Big Love event is that it sells out too quickly.,” said Barnie. “There were always so many people who ended up being left out. The pandemic was far from fun for anyone, but the ability for more people to come together to raise funds to help Comox Valley families needing to travel to access medical care for their children and pregnant mothers is one outcome we are very grateful for.”

To purchase tickets and view event information, see https://www.yanacomoxvalley.com/yana-event/auction/.


Tickets for the 2023 YANA Big Love Benefit on sale Sunday, January 15th

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Join us for the first IN-PERSON Big Love Benefit since 2020!

Our collective hopes may have been dashed before, but this is the year we will come together, in person, once again in celebration and support of YANA families!

The 2023 YANA Big Love Benefit Gala will take place on Friday, February 24th at the Florence Filberg Centre Signature Venue.

The event will be live-streamed as well for those who would like to attend virtually. Join us in person or online for a long-awaited incredible evening of philanthropy, celebration, and community spirit!

Tickets go on sale online, Sunday, January 15th at 10am sharp.

Signature Venue tickets are $125 each.
Live-Stream tickets are by tax-deductible donation.

Ticket purchase link and event info here:

Be sure to set your alarms, tickets sell out in just SECONDS!

With both in-person and virtual options, Big Love 2023 is about choice and flexibility!  Attendees will enjoy an electric evening of community connection, delicious dining and refreshments, as well as the opportunity to bid on incredible items and packages in both the online auction and live auction, hosted by the one and only, Dave Stevens.

The night will include a moving photo presentation captured by the talented Karen McKinnon offering a glimpse into the experiences of a YANA family deeply impacted by the generous support this community provides.

Your in-person or virtual Big Love Benefit ticket gives you exclusive access to both the FULL silent auction running from February 14th to 24th and the exciting LIVE auction during the Big Love event on Friday, February 24th.

Show your support by bidding on the amazing items donated by generous individuals and businesses from around the Comox Valley and beyond. There are sure to be some hot-ticket items up for bid including gift certificates, experiences, local pottery and artwork, collectibles, and much, much more!

Join the community of supporters rallying behind YANA families! Every ticket purchased, every item auctioned, every dollar donated makes a difference.

2022 Christmas Crackers are SOLD OUT!

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As of 10:30am Thursday, December 15, 2022, Crackers are SOLD OUT at ALL locations! 

Thank you to our 2022 Christmas Crackers sponsor, Somers Private Wealth of RBC Dominion Securities whose generosity allowed 100% of every sale to be directed to accommodation and travel funding support for YANA families, and to prize donors Mark the Gold Guy and Tim from Simply Timeless for their neverending sparkly support! Huge gratitude as well to all volunteers, retail location staff, and Cracker purchasers in the Comox Valley and beyond for making this fundraiser a huge success again this year!

Reminder to our gift certificate and grand prize winners to contact the YANA office at info@yanacomoxvalley.com or 250-871-0343 to make arrangements to pick up your prize. We can’t wait to meet and congratulate you!

One door closed, but many doors to support YANA are still open!

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record, November 24, 2022


Click HERE for information on where to purchase YANA Christmas Crackers.


The holiday season is looking bright for YANA families despite some disappointing news they received in late October. Although all systems were “Go” in July for the Driftwood Mall to restart their Christmas Trees for YANA fundraiser that they had been hosting to raise funds for YANA for nearly 20 years, in October, BentalGreenOak let YANA know via their Driftwood Mall local administration that they would not be running the fundraiser moving forward.

“The mall’s fundraiser for YANA has been a tradition of the season for so long, and it typically raised about $10,000 for YANA families each year, so it was definitely tough news to receive. We will be helping with about 400 medical trips this year, so we’re just super grateful that there are so many other ways for people to continue supporting YANA families over the holidays”, said YANA Executive Director, Kelly Barnie.

The team at YANA is excited that so many doors are open to unique ways the Comox Valley can come together and spread generosity in the spirit of giving this holiday season.

YANA Christmas Crackers: Sales of the time-honoured YANA Christmas Crackers are already off to a fantastic start. Five thousand crackers have been lovingly handcrafted by volunteers and filled with the usual delights. Fifty crackers have special prizes, including one with a breathtaking diamond ring valued at over $5600.00. “The cracker prizes are awesome this year”, said Barnie. “There are $1000 in Quality Foods grocery gift cards alone, so I think there are going to be some very excited cracker snappers this year!” Crackers are $5.00 each and are available for cash purchase while supplies last at Edible Island Whole Foods Market, Quality Foods and Tin Town Cafe in Courtenay, John’s Your Independent Grocer, Quality Foods and the Comox Community Centre in Comox, and at Seeds Food Market in Cumberland.

Crown isle Holiday Resort Walk & Gingerbread Village Charity Auction: Along with the Comox Valley Transition Society and MARS Wildlife Rescue, YANA will be a shared recipient of the proceeds from the spectacular Holiday Resort Walk and Gingerbread Village & Teddy Bear Basket Charity Auction at Crown Isle & Golf Community this year. The Holiday Resort Walk starts December 2, and continues on December 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16-21. Hours are 5:00 – 8:00pm each night. Admission to the Holiday Resort Walk is by cash donation or tap to donate.

Donate Late-model Used iPads: Over the years, My Tech Guys had refurbished and passed on several donated iPads to YANA to be used for payment processing at their fundraising events. The iOS systems now required for Square and other apps are higher than the older iPads can handle, so YANA is hoping some newer old iPads might come their way over the holiday season. “We know we need two or three iPads that have iOS 14 or higher so that they can run at least Version 5 of the Square App. If anyone finds themselves with a brand new iPad under the tree this year, we’d sure love it if they’d consider donating their older model to YANA,” said Barnie.

Charitable Donations/Monthly Donation: “Charitable donations made near the end of the tax year and donations in lieu of gifts are always a big portion of the funds we receive each year to help the children and families we serve,” explains Barnie. “There are so many incredible local charities in the Comox Valley, and the support we receive this time of year really makes a huge difference for the work we’re able to do. I truly wish every donor would be able to hear the relief in the voices of the parents we help. It may seem like it’s just a number on a year-end tax receipt but how a family who receives YANA support feels knowing their community has made the support possible is something more special than I could possibly explain.” Monthly donations help YANA plan ahead and ensure that they have sustainable funding throughout the year. YANA uses the online platform CanadaHelps.org where you can set up a one-time or recurring monthly donation.

So many of the Comox Valley residents are struggling in the face of inflation and pandemic recovery, but with your help, YANA plans to continue to lift some of that strain on the local families needing to leave the community for medical support. Together, we can make our community a little brighter this year.

Follow these links to:

YANA Christmas Crackers on Sale November 12th

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For almost twenty years, YANA has welcomed the holiday season by making and selling Christmas Crackers in support of local children and families.

5,000 crackers have been lovingly handcrafted by volunteers and filled with the usual delights. 50 crackers have special prizes, including one with an extra special grand prize- A breathtaking diamond ring valued at over $5,600!

For more info on retail locations, bulk purchases and how you can help craft Christmas Crackers for 2023, see https://www.yanacomoxvalley.com/yana-event/christmas-crackers/ or call the YANA office at 250-871-0343.



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