Big Love Wesjet and 50/50 winning ticket numbers announced

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The winning ticket number for the WESTJET TICKETS draw (BC Gaming Event Licence #127963) was 210177.


The winning ticket number for the 50/50 draw (BC Gaming Event Licence #127739) of the $10,461 prize was 140515.

Email notifications have been sent to all purchasers, and the winners have been contacted.

Thank you to everyone who supported YANA families by participating in the draws!

The 2021 Big Love Benefit Online Silent Auction is LIVE!

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This year’s virtual gala kicks off February 16th with an incredible selection of items up for bid from now until the livestream event on February 26th. Your own access links to the Online Silent Auction AND to the Live Broadcast are provided with the purchase of your Big Love Benefit ticket.

Tickets can be purchased here, with any size donation you choose. Browse and shop over 250 items and packages valued at nearly $70,000.  From luxury packages to beautiful, local art; home and garden treasures to restaurant gift certificates, there is truly something for everyone! 

YANA Big Love Benefit Changes Due to Continued COVID Restrictions

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From the infancy of our planning for a COVID-friendly version of the Big Love Benefit this year, the committee of YANA volunteers and staff committed to doing everything humanly possible to virtually recreate as many of the magical elements of the “normal” event as possible, all while following prescribed health protocols to keep everyone involved safe.

From day one, we agreed to plan for the best-case scenario and to be prepared to adjust according to provincial and regional COVID restrictions as needed. We were collectively hoping for a return to “Safe Six” and to a less restrictive definition of events.  Over the past few weeks, as it started looking more and more like restrictions would not be loosened, we started working further with Island Health to develop a safety plan that would go over and above all requirements.  The goal was to allow YANA supporters to view the Big Love Live Broadcast with their core bubbles from home and from restaurants as planned. 

As you can imagine, with the recent extension of the Provincial Health Orders, no specific reconsideration date given, and less than 3 weeks to the February 26 broadcast, our committee was faced with a tough decision. 

Island Health has spent significant time listening with open minds and hearts to our innovative method of supporting local restaurants as viewing locations for a virtual broadcast. Without previous precedent or other models to use as templates, although things were continuing in the right direction, we’ve simply run out of time. 

With the resources and time remaining, we’ve decided to remove the restaurant venues from our ticketing options and convert previously purchased venue tables to gourmet home parties for up to 6 core-bubble (immediate household) attendees.  

We are extremely grateful for the generosity and flexibility of all those that have purchased restaurant venue tables.  We will be reaching out in the days ahead to provide the details on the alternative options available to you. 

There are great options for everyone who wants to participate in the Big Love Benefit!

Link by Donation: When you visit the YANA Tickit Store, you will see the “Live Broadcast & Auction Link” by donation.  Remember that every dollar donated is matched by Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC up to $15,000!

Home Parties: You’ll also notice that a limited number of “Hosted Home Party for Six” have been added.  To host a Home Party, you and those in your core bubble (immediate household) would view the live-stream broadcast on a smart TV or laptop etc, and bid on the auction items from each person’s personal hand-held device.  Home Parties are $750.00 and include a gourmet antipasto/charcuterie board, delicate desserts, bubbly to toast, and the ingredients for the Signature Cocktail. Please contact YANA if an alternate menu option is required. 

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at 250-871-0343 or We are incredibly grateful for your continued support and flexibility as we adapt, adjust, and persevere our way ahead.  Our YANA families find it within themselves to do this every day, and we thank you for standing with us so we can stand with them no matter what. 

Kelly Barnie

Executive Director, YANA (You Are Not Alone)

For More Information and to purchase tickets, see: YANA Big Love Benefit

YANA rolls out plans for 2021 virtual Big Love Gala

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Published in the Comox Valley Record December 22, 2020

It’s the year of reinvention for the way we collectively do things, from family gatherings to classes and workshops, and especially any kind of large-gathering events, coming together looks a little different right now.

For a charity like YANA (You Are Not Alone), gathering together has been an integral piece of their community support building and fundraising, especially at events like their annual sell-out gala, The Big Love Benefit, YANA’s largest campaign event of the year which generates almost 40% of the funds needed for their funding and accommodation programs.

Last year’s event was a smashing success, raising $166,000 through ticket sales, donations, draws and auctions. Two weeks later the world shut down and it became clear that the 2021 Big Love gala would not likely take shape in its usual form. Kelly Barnie, YANA’s executive director, spoke to this unfolding reality and the implications it could have on YANA’s ability to continue supporting Comox Valley families.

“Not holding our largest fundraising event of the year would likely put YANA in the position of having to say ‘no’ to families, or to be unable to support at the level we typically do. As always, our amazing volunteer committee stepped up in unanimous agreement that there was no way we could let that happen. They were committed as ever to finding a way to move forward with as many of the components of the annual gala fundraiser as possible, in a safe, flexible way that allows for maximum individual choice about how to join in the magic experience that is the Big Love Benefit.”

After many minds spent many hours back at the drawing board to re-invent this event in COVID-friendly fashion, YANA has rolled out their plans for this years’ gala event. It’s set to be better than ever, opening up even greater possibilities for supporters from all over to join the cause and witness the love and generosity that is shown each year.

“In some ways, COVID is forcing us to solve the problems we’ve always had and never come up with a way to overcome,” says Barnie. “When you sell out an event in 3 seconds, there are countless YANA supporters that want to get on board, but can’t. It’s opened up the event far and wide for anyone to help YANA. April 1, 2021 marks YANA’s 35 year anniversary. There are 3 and a half decades of YANA families and their circle of supporters out there. You can’t fit that many people in a room together, but you can have them join a live broadcast together, experiencing it as one, in different locations across the Valley and beyond.”

The event itself, as well as the auctioning of generously donated items, will all be done virtually. Event attendees will be able to view the live virtual program and bid in the online auction in one of 3 ways: attending one of eight Champion Sponsor-hosted restaurants in their Safe Six group, attending one of twenty Supporter Sponsor-hosted Safe Six home parties, or by making a donation to receive a link so they can enjoy the virtual event and participate in the silent and live auctions from the comfort of their own home.

Kelly Rusk, YANA’s board committee president, points to the bright silver lining in all of this.

“The online event platform we’re using allows everyone to experience the energy, stories, presentations and celebrations from any location. It even has video and chat interaction features so we can virtually connect between venues! We know it’s not the same as being able to hug and visit and laugh with 300+ people, but virtually speaking, we’re hoping this is the next closest thing.”

Every ticket purchased, every auction bid, every big and small donation helps toward this important fundraiser, and especially so thanks to generous sponsors who cover the costs of the event so that 100% of the money raised goes directly to YANA’s travel funding and accommodation programs for families. Long term sponsor Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC is helping every dollar donated make an even bigger impact this year. Every time someone makes a donation to receive the link to the live event broadcast and auction, the dealership will match the donation, dollar for dollar, up to $15,000.

The online auction opens February 16th and runs until the night of the gala on February 26th. Restaurant venue tickets, and “link by donation” tickets will be available at starting January 17th at 10am sharp. YANA supporters everywhere are encouraged to join in no matter how much you have to give, no matter where you’re giving from.

“More than ever, this year, we want everyone to be in a position to experience the love that surrounds this event. Whether you can donate a little or a lot, we want you to share in the magic that is Big Love. We’re all hoping that 2021 brings much more positive to our world, and we’re excited to start the year with something like this. It’s been a major undertaking for our staff and volunteers to toss the script and start from the beginning, and we hope that the community will come together to rally behind YANA families like never before.”

See for event information.

YANA Christmas Crackers on sale in stores and online

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record Nov. 15, 2020

The 2020 YANA Christmas Cracker Campaign is kicking off again, and like most things right now, this year’s fundraiser looks a little different. The usual cracker making gatherings were cancelled due to the pandemic situation and social distancing measures, but the efforts continued, led by volunteer campaign coordinator, Robbie Rusk. Her dream team of cracker crafters came forward to take supplies home and they pulled together to assemble the 5000 crackers throughout the COVID lockdown in the Spring. 

Crackers are ready for purchase at seven retail locations, as well as in the online store just launched. YANA Executive Director Kelly Barnie shared the shift in approach to this year’s campaign, and the measures they’ve taken to ensure the fundraiser is both safe and successful. 

“Like everything fundraising and life in general, this year’s cracker campaign has required us to adjust and adapt. We’ve limited our distribution locations to businesses with strong COVID protocols in place for walk-in business, as well as to places most likely to remain open if restrictions increase again. We also started an online store, where buyers can choose to purchase and pick-up at YANA’s office on Rosewall Crescent, or to have their crackers directly shipped to the location they choose. We know that many businesses and individuals are thinking about the approaching tax season and the contributions they want to make, and the online store makes it easy to add an additional donation and receive a receipt for the 2020 tax year.”

The hand-crafted crackers are $3.00 each and contain traditional trinkets and jokes. Fifty crackers contain special prizes donated by local businesses, including the Grand Prize of a gorgeous 18kt gold diamond Cavelti ring generously donated by Mark the Gold, appraised at $2835.00 by Tim Haley of Simply Timeless.

Last year YANA supported 172 families and 433 medical trips for Comox Valley families who required medical care outside of the community. Because of the generous sponsorships from Paul Ardron and Kirk Campbell of IG Wealth Management, 100% of the cracker proceeds go directly to the continued support that YANA provides for our community and families. 

YANA Christmas Crackers are on sale now, and sell out quickly every year. They can be purchased at Edible Island Whole Foods Market, Seeds Food Market, Tin Town Cafe, John’s Your Independent Grocer, Comox Community Centre, Quality Foods in Comox and Courtenay and through YANA’s Online Store. Bulk orders as well as cash donations can also be done at the YANA office at 102, 2456 Rosewall Cres on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00am to 2:00pm. 

For more information, and to purchase YANA Christmas Crackers online, visit 

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