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

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 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 or call the YANA office at 250-871-0343.



YANA Ride 2022 a Massive Fundraising Success for Local Charity

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Riders, donors, sponsors, volunteers, YANA friends and supporters, what an honour and privilege it was to reunite together again for YANA families. This year was all about transitioning gracefully and coming back stronger than ever, and what a comeback it was!

Together, we raised $86,500 to help Comox Valley families with children or pregnant moms who need medical care away from home. Absolutely amazing!! 

Thank you to every single person that rode, fundraised, made a contribution and had a hand in making the 2022 Comox Bike Co YANA Ride a massive success.

Check out this recap of the 2022 event, mark your calendars and start making plans for your YANA Ride in August 2023. We can’t wait to join together again at the Party in the Park on Sunday, August 20, 2023!

YANA Ride 2022 50/50 Winner and a Heart-Warming Story to Go Along With It!

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There is no shortage of heart-filling stories about the love surrounding YANA families through the YANA Ride fundraising, but this one is a doozy!

Meet Sherri Moran.

Sherri is this year‘s Comox Bike Company YANA Ride 50-50 winner!! But far more importantly, Sherri is a very proud grandma to Onyx Cederlof. You may remember Onyx and his parents Meaghan and Josh from their beautiful post around the time of the YANA Ride last year.

With gratitude forever in her heart for how YANA supported her baby grandson and his parents while Onyx was in the Nanaimo NICU for almost a month, Sherri made a generous donation towards the 2022 YANA Ride. When she realized she wouldn’t be able to make it to the Party in the Park on Sunday as she had planned, she decided to help the fundraising efforts out a bit more by purchasing 50/50 tickets as well…..and wait until you hear how else Sherri has decided to help!

Upon receiving the phone call that she was this year’s 50/50 winner and hearing that she would be receiving a $2607.50 prize, only a few seconds of shock and excitement passed before Sherri let Kelly from YANA know what her plans were for the money, and exactly why she’d made that decision. Sherri is donating $1607.50 back to YANA, and the $1000.00 she’s receiving is going into education savings for little Onyx. Through misty eyes and cracking voices on both ends of the phone call, Sherri explained how she was honoured to give back to the organization that had helped her family when they needed it most, and that contributing to Onyx’s bright future ahead seemed like the perfect way to spend her windfall.

Thank you for your incredible support Sherri and for sharing this beautiful story of the circle of love and generosity surrounding YANA and the families we serve!

McIntoshes paying it back at this year’s YANA Ride, after paying it forward in 2021

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record, August 11th 2022.

By Lina Konovalov

Last week, Beckett Williamson was introduced as one of the youngest riders ever for the Comox Bike Co YANA Ride annual fundraiser. “One of the youngest” being the operative term.

Meet Caelan McIntosh.

Caelan is a YANA baby, whose first YANA Ride came before he was even born!

Knowing in advance that their baby would need to be delivered at BC Children’s Hospital, Cam and Melissa McIntosh started Team Broken, Battered and Brews-ed for last year’s YANA Ride to raise money in hopes of “paying it forward” for their intended Vancouver trip leading up to Mel’s estimated due date of Sept. 19, 2021. And raise money they did! Their team (with mama Mel still carrying wee Caelan) was YANA’s second-place fundraising team last year, raising nearly $7,000. Cam was the top individual fundraising rider for the 2021 event raising $4,304.13 for YANA.

Baby Caelan made his arrival on August 25, 2021, at BCCH, and this year, Team Recovering Brews-ers is riding for YANA again, and raising funds to celebrate Caelan’s first birthday as a way of saying thank you for the help YANA provided.

From now until Aug. 21, bikers across the Comox Valley and beyond will be riding in the 2022 Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride in support of YANA and the local families this organization helps.

YANA, or You Are Not Alone, is a local registered charity that provides travel and accommodation assistance to families who need to access medical care for a child or pregnant mother somewhere outside the Valley.

Medical trips can be extremely costly, with some trips costing several thousand dollars. No matter the cost, YANA is there to help every step of the way. These trips are life-changing for the families in need, and they occur in huge part due to the efforts of the incredible YANA riders gathering pledges and the donors and sponsors supporting them.

Last year YANA was able to provide $265,000 in travel funding and accommodation support. The more pledges that are raised throughout the ride, the more families YANA can say yes to at times when they need it most.

Registration is ongoing. The Comox Bike Co YANA Ride allows you to chart your own course, riding when, where and how you like. On Sunday, Aug. 21, all riders, sponsors and YANA supporters throughout the community are invited to gather at Comox Marina Park between 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for the annual Party in the Park celebration to congratulate everyone’s great achievements.

For more information, registration, or to pledge a rider or team (such as Team Recovering Brews-ers) click on the links above!

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