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/.