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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com or complete the YANA Volunteer Form.