The YANA Board of Directors meets monthly on the first Thursday of each month at the YANA office. The first portion of the meeting is open to the general public. We welcome people to come out to learn about the organization and to share new ideas.
Back left to right: Ron Arksey, Judy Cryer, Lesley Hunter, Marcel Moose, Lauren Clark, Adam Wunderlich and Hugh Mackinnon. Front left to right: Kelly Rusk, Laura Bomback, Marcie Dumais and Ocean Varney. Missing from photograph: Kate Berg, Kaleen Lohnes and Joan McCaughey.
Meet the Board of Directors
Judy Cryer (President)
I was inspired to join YANA because I had always read and heard such great stories about the help they provided to families in the Comox Valley. When my first grandson was born and had to be flown to BC Children’s Hospital, my son-in-law was given an envelope from YANA with emergency cash in it. When I retired from my “work” life I realized that I needed something else to do. So I chose YANA and transitioned from being a work-aholic to a volunteer-aholic. It’s been a rewarding experience.
Kelly Rusk (Vice President)
As a member of the Comox Fire Department, I first became aware of YANA when we chose it as the main organization of choice for our donations. I learned of how YANA touched so many lives through other members of the Fire Department as well as other Comox Valley residents I met during our fundraising efforts. When I was asked to become involved as a board member, I thought it was a great opportunity for me to give back to an organization that has given so much to the families of the Comox Valley.
Lauren Clark (Secretary)
YANA is a true reflection of the spirit of this giving community. I have had the joy of participating and volunteering in wonderful YANA community events for the past few years. My family has experienced their integral support first hand and now I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the board.
Marcel Moose (Treasurer)
When I learned about the amazing ways YANA helps families in the Comox Valley I knew I wanted to get involved. Being on the board allows me to see how much of a difference YANA can make first hand. We are truly lucky to have YANA as part of our community.
It is often said that it takes a community to raise a child. It also takes a community to support a child when they and their family need it most. YANA is the conduit that connects the family in need to community support and assistance in an effort to make their journey more manageable. By providing services and support, YANA helps alleviate some of the questions, issues, and uncertainties associated with medical treatment, allowing the family to stay together and focus on their child’s health and well-being. Volunteering over the last few years has provided me with insight into YANA’s undertakings and all of the wonderful people that make this organization so unique. Having first-hand family experience of the long journey associated with childhood illness made committing to YANA an easy and rewarding decision. I am privileged and honoured to be a YANA board member.
I was inspired to become involved with YANA through my work in the Comox Valley School District. It is through this work that I have become personally acquainted with many families that have benefitted from YANA and have been moved by their stories. I strongly believe in service and contribution to my community and feel YANA demonstrates those same values. Being part of this organization feels like a perfect fit for me and it is a pleasure to sit on the board of directors with other like-minded individuals.
I have been involved with YANA in various capacities over the years. It began in 1999, when my son was 3, and we were sent to Children’s Hospital for Diabetes training. I remain involved with YANA because I love that it is such a unique local charity that helps families stay together when their child is sick.
I started volunteering to make Christmas crackers and discovered an amazing new family. I love YANA.
Sick children who require out of community medical attention hopefully can get cured and have the rest of their lives to look forward to. In times of medical crisis, families should be together and being on the board of directors of YANA is my opportunity to help make this happen whilst helping keep the Williams family legacy (‘You Are Not Alone’) continuing!
YANA is a fantastic organization that embodies the true spirit of community. I’m inspired by the passion and dedication that the staff, volunteers and community show in supporting Comox Valley families. I look forward to being part of the commitment that continues this work.
Meet the Staff
Marcie Dumais (Executive Director & Client services)
I started with YANA as a volunteer board director in 2011. I had been attending the auction for many years and was inspired by the volunteers that were leading this event. I quickly fell in love with the cause and the people. In July 2013, I became YANA’s part-time Executive Director. I see YANA as a fantastic example of community spirit and I am delighted to contribute and want to make sure the organization is sustainable over time. YANA is about heartfelt giving and receiving, it is about getting behind families when they need a lift up, it is about helping kids, it is about having fun while you’re making a difference, and simply put, it is about spreading love. All these things inspire my involvement. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
OCEAN VARNEY (Community Relations coordinator)
My position at YANA means the opportunity to be part of an organization that exemplifies the generous spirit of the Comox Valley. That spirit allows YANA to offer support to local families during some of their most difficult times; when they have to leave home to receive medical care for a child. I am honoured to assist in this work that plays such an important role in our community. I can be reached at email@example.com
Kaleen Lohnes (Client services)
Having grown up in the Comox Valley it was impossible to be unaware of YANA and how it touches the lives and hearts of so many in our community. When it came time for me to take a step back from my previous job to take care of my own small children, a very serendipitous opportunity arose to work for YANA as casual relief for the Executive Director. And what luck, here I am. I am proud to be part of an organization that does so much to support families when they need it most.
Joan McCaughey (Client Services)
I lived in the Comox Valley for most of my life and raised my three children here. During that time I was well aware of YANA and the wonderful work the organization was doing in the community. In 2009, my job took me to a small town in the Okanagan. Three other Rotarians and I saw a need for an organization such as YANA in that community and the Highway to Healing Support Society was created using YANA as a model. In 2016, I returned to the Comox Valley and had the good fortune to arrive right when YANA was looking for someone to fill in on a casual basis for the Executive Director. YANA is a wonderful asset to the Comox Valley and I am truly honoured to be associated with it.