YANA Big Love Benefit moves to virtual format

Posted on

Dear friends and supporters,

With the Jan. 18th PHO announcement indicating that current restrictions will remain in place until February 16th and reviewed at that time, we have no other choice but to move our Big Love Benefit online for a fully virtual event. As much as we hoped to gather together, hug, and see your beautiful faces in person at this year’s Big Love Benefit, we are counting on another knock-out fundraiser one way or another with the support of this incredible community behind us!

Tickets for this live broadcast event will go on sale January 23rd at 10am and will be available for purchase by making a tax-receiptable donation of any amount. All ticket donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $15,000 thanks to our generous Donation Matching Sponsor, Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd.  

Your virtual ticket includes links to the live-broadcast event, as well as the online auction which runs February 15th to 25th. This year’s auction features thousands of dollars worth of items to bid on, from lavish gift baskets featuring local products to destination packages, art, jewellery, and so much more, the incredible inventory of prizes is all thanks to the donations from many businesses and individuals from the Comox Valley and beyond! 

All attendees will also have exclusive access to unique and delicious food and beverage packages offered by our Big Love Select Vendors, offering you an extra-special at-home experience while you tune in to this year’s event. 

For more information and to purchase event tickets on sale January 23rd, please visit: https://www.yanacomoxvalley.com/yana-event/auction/

YANA supporters to gather again for 2022 Big Love Benefit

Posted on

Roll out the red carpet! The 2022 Big Love Auction will take place on February 25th at our signature venue (location to be determined) for both an in-person gathering and a live-streamed broadcast event. Anyone can join in and support YANA families and their children, however they choose, for an unforgettable night of celebration and community spirit.

After a year of re-inventing, and then re-inventing again, adapting to change seems to be the name of the game these days. This year’s hybrid event will include the most loved elements of the Big Love Benefit Gala, with the virtual participation option making it possible for anyone, anywhere, to join in the magic this night brings.

**New Provincial Health orders in effect until January 18th for gatherings will impact this event if they are not lifted or loosened at the end of the timeframe of the current order. Stay tuned for an update on this page after the January 18th announcement, and note that we will be delaying ticket sales until Sunday, January 23rd, at 10am in order to accommodate these new orders. 

Tickets will be available in groups of 8 and can be purchased online beginning January 23, 2022 at 10:00am. These hot tickets sell out and you’ll want to act fast! 

There are other great ways to support this year’s Big Love event:

  • Purchase a raffle ticket for a WestJet Flight for two or 50/50 draw, the winner’s half was over $10,000 last year, so every ticket purchased is a big WIN-WIN! Flight tickets are good for one round trip flight for two guests to any regular scheduled and marketed WestJet destinations. (*No cash value. Fees, taxes, surcharges not included. Blackout dates and restrictions apply). 
  • Donate to our online auction or make a donation of any amount to receive access to bid on items on February 15th when bidding goes live. 
  • Sponsor this integral event and help make donations go even further, right back to YANA families and their children.
  • Volunteer and be a part of the collective effort to make this vital fundraiser a success. We couldn’t do this without the many hands that make it all possible!

Christmas Cracker Grand Prizer Winner Announced

Posted on

This year’s Christmas Cracker grand-prize winner has been revealed! A huge congratulations goes to Sandra Hickman who snapped the winning cracker over the holidays. 

The winning cracker was purchased at Quality Foods in Comox as a Christmas Gift. Sandra’s family decided this year that instead of exchanging presents, they would exchange gifts of impact to a local charity, a gift they couldn’t have guessed would contain the grand-prize; a gorgeous set of diamond rings. Sandra is familiar with non-profit work through her work with national charity, Threads of Life, who help families who have experienced a workplace tragedy. It was an easy choice to give back to the community and support YANA in lieu of traditional Christmas gifts, knowing first-hand the difference every donation makes. 

All 5000 crackers sold out at businesses across the Comox Valley and through our online store. A huge thanks goes out to our distribution partners, Edible Island Whole Foods Market, Quality Foods Courtenay, Tin Town Cafe, John’s Your Independent Grocer, Quality Foods Comox, Comox Community Centre, and Seeds Food Market, as well as all of the crafters, volunteers, and everyone who purchased a crackers in support of YANA and the families we help. 100% of cracker sales goes directly back into YANA’s travel and accommodation programs thanks to a generous, anonymous donor for this year’s fundraiser. 

Check back next year (and early!), you just might be the next lucky winner!


Christmas Crackers 2021 – SOLD OUT!

Posted on

As of December 9, 2021, Crackers are SOLD OUT at ALL locations!

Thank you to YANA’s anonymous sponsor 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!

YANA Christmas Crackers are on sale NOW!

Posted on

Published by the Comox Valley Record Nov 16, 2021

It was many years ago that YANA’s founder, Sandra Williams, gathered with friends around her own kitchen table to craft the first Christmas Crackers, all in efforts to raise money for the Comox Valley’s grassroots organization. The tradition has carried on today thanks to the many hands that contribute to pulling off a made-from-scratch batch of 5000 Christmas Crackers each year. This year’s team of 19 talented volunteers has been led by Coordinator, Robbie Rusk, who has ensured the standard and quality that folks have known year after year.

Each crafter, whether veteran or newcomer, is given thorough instruction before diving into cracker making, along with completing a “tester 10” set of crackers that are checked and approved by YANA expert mentor crafters. Each crafter then receives a kit of supplies to make between 100 – 200 crackers, the equivalent of about 10-15 hours of full-on elf-mode cracker making.

“The care and artistry that our talented volunteers put into their crafting impress me beyond all belief”, shares Kelly Barnie, YANA’s Executive Director, who tells us the community has come to expect this fundraiser each year. “Even though we had to move away from our traditional group crafting last year, our dedicated volunteers pulled this fundraiser together to make sure our happy customers get their annual supply.  Whether it’s for a special holiday dinner or as gifts for family, friends or coworkers, people sure get excited about these every year.”

Each cracker contains the usual trinkets and delights you’d expect to find, with 50 crackers containing a special prize. This year the grand prize is actually two prizes in one.  Mark the Gold Guy has generously donated a gorgeous coordinating pair of diamond rings, appraised by Tim Haley at Simply Timeless at over $5,500.  Thanks to an anonymous donor, 100% of the 2021 Christmas Cracker sales will go directly back into YANA’s funding and accommodation program, which provides support for about 400 medical trips each year for Comox Valley families.

YANA Christmas Crackers are on sale now for $3.00 each from one of 7 retail locations including Edible Island Whole Foods Market, Quality Foods Courtenay, Tin Town Cafe, John’s Your Independent Grocer, Quality Foods Comox, Comox Community Centre, or Seeds Food Market. Crackers can also be purchased online for $3.25 each (including online processing fee) at https://shopyanacomoxvalley.square.site/. Shipping and bulk orders are also possible by contacting YANA 250-871-0343 or  info@yanacomoxvalley.com.

At-home crafting of 2022 crackers will begin in January 2022. Anyone with a keen eye for detail, nimble crafting hands, and time available to help YANA is invited to reach out about helping make Christmas crackers for 2022. Please email: christmascrackers@yanacomoxcalley.com or complete the YANA Volunteer Form.

View more posts