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Acacia is young girl with a great big heart who donated her birthday money to YANA.  We sure appreciate kids helping kids in this way.

YANA Ride Video Release

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We are very excited to release Fox & Bee’s amazing video of the 2014 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride.  Thank you, Fox & Bee, for volunteering your time and talent to create this magic!

YANA Ride Exceeds Target

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Special guest volunteer Tori presents Terry Parkinson with his medal at the end of the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride on Sunday. A total of 405 riders took part in the ride, raising in excess of the targeted $32,000 goal for the local charity.  We sure appreciate The Record being there to capture the moment!

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Sunday’s Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride – A Buzz with Volunteers

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Organizers are delighted that over 185 cyclists will be supporting Comox Valley families at this year’s Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride. But the buzz at YANA is focused on five very special volunteers. Markus, Gabe, Tori, Anna and Owen are all members of YANA families, who will be welcoming cyclists back to Marina Park as they cross the finish line on Sunday 17 August.

DSC_0026“It’s fantastic that these children will be coming out to support future YANA families, we are super excited to host these very special volunteers. They are the reason why we will all be at Marina Park on Sunday.” comments Marcie Dumais, Executive Director of YANA.

Participants of the 2nd annual Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride choose their route and cycle anywhere from 5, 25, 50 or 100km. Event expenses have been completely covered by sponsorship, as a result, the money raised from registrations, pledges and t-shirts sales will go direct to YANA families. There is still time to register to ride, make a donation by pledging a rider, or volunteer on ride day.

“Many of these young volunteers have shared their experiences to help YANA communicate what we do, their stories are the heart of our website.” continues Dumais.

11 year old, Markus, or Iron Man Markus, loves nerf guns and video games and, he’ll be starting grade 6 in the fall. It was during the fifth grade that he earned the name Iron Man Markus. He tripped and hit his head at school then ended up at St Joseph’s Hospital, where they found 2 tumors, one on top and the other at the back of his head. After undergoing major surgery and chemotherapy Markus recently celebrated one month cancer free.

Gabe is 7 years old and has undergone years of leukemia treatment in Vancouver and during that time YANA has had the privilege of being part of a journey which started suddenly when he was only 2 ½.

Tori was born in 2007 at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver with a heart condition. She required open-heart surgery four days after she was born. Tori spent her first year in hospital where she received a tracheotomy, ventilator, and a second heart surgery. YANA financially assisted her family’s stay in Vancouver for the first 15 months of her life, allowing them to focus on Tori.

9 year old Anna spent significant time away from home receiving treatment for kidney cancer. Although her father was with her, she was separated from her mom and brothers, Rens and Diego, who visited when they could. Anna’s mother, Hendrika, credits YANA’s financial support and the use of the apartments with keeping the family together. She adds, “A sick child has a huge impact on family-life, the stress, your kid in pain, sick, struggling and sad, it’s a lot of emotions. What a blessing to know that the community supports YANA and therefore you. It’s a big help mentally as well as financially.”

Owen was born premature and spent the first 117 days of his life in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at BC Children’s Hospital. He has been living with cerebral palsy for 6 years now. YANA has been with his family since the beginning.

“Markus, Gabe, Tori, Anna and Owen, have such courageous stories, each of those stories was made more manageable because of YANA and the Vancouver apartments,” shares Patti Fletcher, Co-owner of Simon’s Cycles, “they are the inspiration for this year’s fundraising goal; we’d like to raise $32,000, which would pay for 5 months of accommodation expenses for Comox Valley families.”

YANA helped 112 local families in 2013, funded 290 medical trips, provided over $75,000 in financial assistance and offered homes away from home in Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver.

Read more about these and other YANA stories.

There is still time to support Comox Valley families by registering for the ride, making a donation or volunteering, for full details see event website.

Tori returns to the 2014 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride

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We are delighted to learn that Tori will be joining us again at the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride on August 17th. Tori will be there to support her friend Jeff and welcome all riders as they cross the finish line at this year’s ride. Tori and Jeff’s story was told by The Comox Valley Echo last summer, and is re-published below.

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Cycling ‘fast-fast’ for Tori
originally published August 16, 2013

Jeff Mosher knows this Sunday’s Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride is not a race, but he’ll be going “fast-fast” none-the-less. For he’s seen first hand the difference YANA makes to Comox Valley families.

“In July of 2007 my wife and I received exciting news from our close friends Shayne and Erin Boelk that they were expecting twins,” said Mosher. Little did he know that one of their daughters would inspire him to ride faster and raise more than $800 for the Comox Valley charity.

Tori Boelk was born November 29, 2007 at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver with a heart condition. Her sister Lara never made it, succumbing to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome during Erin’s 28th week of pregnancy.Tori required open-heart surgery four days after she was born, spending her first year in hospital where she received a tracheotomy, ventilator, and a second heart surgery. She will require three more surgeries as she grows.

YANA financially assisted her family’s stay in Vancouver for the first 15 months of her life, allowing her family to focus on Tori. YANA has already committed to additional support for Tori’s numerous follow-up procedures in the years to come.

Now five, going on six, Tori is back at home in Courtenay where she is fiercely independent and rapidly growing out of a continuous feeding tube and a portable vent.

“This doesn’t hold her back,” said Mosher. “Her powered wheelchair should only go one speed according to her – “fast-fast!” – because slow is too boring.

“When Simon’s Cycles announced they were hosting the 2013 YANA road ride it was a hands down choice for me. What a great opportunity to return the support YANA gave to my friends by getting pledges for YANA to go ‘fast-fast’ on the 100 km ride because slow is too boring.”

Mosher will be one of more than 100 cyclists taking part in this year’s longest leg of the YANA Ride – a 100 kilometre route – but there will be many more riders of all ages peddling shorter distances.To donate and help Jeff’s ride for Tori – or any of the other participants – visit www.yanacomoxvalley.com, click the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride banner, and click ‘pledge a participant’. Find and click the name of one you wish to support, such as Mosher, to offer sponsorship. Tori’s story is available at the same website, under ‘Stories’. Find out more about the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride or to register to take part, visit www.yanacomoxvalley.com.

© Comox Valley Echo

Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride: Feel good – do good – look good

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Registration is open for the 2014 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride, and this year, participants will have the opportunity to buy an exclusive ride jersey.

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The ride will take place on Sunday, August 17 at Marina Park in Comox. There is a route for cyclists of all abilities including 25km, 50km, 100km or a 5km family ride.

“We are so thankful for all the support that the community provides YANA, the ride is yet another example of how supportive the Comox Valley is of our local families in need,” says Marcie Dumais, Executive Director of YANA.

YANA helped 112 local families in 2013, funded 290 medical trips, provided over $75,000 in financial assistance and offered homes away from home in Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver. Patti Fletcher, co-owner of Simon’s Cycles shares, “Last year’s ride raised $28,000, this year, we have a specific goal, we’d like to cover five months of accommodation expenses for families, to do it we’ll need to raise $32,000.”

Dumais continues “We have been working with Simon’s Cycles to repeat the success of last year’s event.”

“Yes, but we wanted to introduce some new elements, too” adds Fletcher. “This year we are excited to offer a YANA Ride custom designed jersey for registered participants. This is not only a great compliment to your active wear, but a fun functional memory piece to a Ride Day that you’ll never forget.”

Simon’s are working with Michael Johnson of Good Thinking Design to deliver the jersey. The $75 jersey is exclusively available to participants who register for the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride before Sunday July 6th. To ensure a good fit, visit Simon’s Cycles on Comox Avenue and try one on for size.

Click here for more details, to register, volunteer or to buy a bike jersey.

Island Charity Wrestling… Tough Guys With Big Hearts

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ocean misc 032Island Charity Wrestling is coming back to the Valley to put on another great family charity show on Sunday, July 20. Since it’s all for and about the kids, all profits again this year are going to support You Are Not Alone (YANA).

Since 2009, the ICW group of local retail workers and weekend warriors have put on entertaining, low-cost family wrestling shows for local charities. All money raised beyond covering the cost of hall rental goes directly to YANA.

ICW is a mix of touring pro wrestlers and local beginners and trainees who give their all in the ring in the spirit of community service. The pros always put on great matches and the trainees make up for inexperience with larger-than-life good and evil characters everyone can boo or cheer. ICW has a loyal following, most of which are children.

In addition to 90 minutes of action, there will be prize draws, concession, and plenty of opportunities for children and parents alike to meet and get photos with the wrestlers in and out of character.

The theme of this upcoming show is “Night of Champions” and is the only event of the year in which all four championships are on the line. There are matches for every taste, and in addition to four title bouts, there will be singles and grudge matches to fill out the card.

For the ICW championship: “Dangerous” Doug Beattie vs. Splash Campbell. DDB’s used every possible dirty trick to retain his title, including constant interference by The Chain Gang mates Acadian Assassin and A-Train. Prior to the Comox show last August, The Chain Gang beat down Splash Campbell at home, shown to the crowd, keeping him from challenging for the title. Is he physically ready to compete, or will The Chain Gang’s cheating again overcome the giant challenger?

Vancouver Island Hardcore Championship “Fans Bring the Weapons” match: Stan “The Lumberjack” Boyd vs. Acadian Assassin. Acadian Assassin is evil and vicious, and is now into his third reign as champion, including one reign that lasted nearly four years.

No disqualifications, pinfalls count anywhere, and the last Comox show in August saw the re-introduction of the 24/7 rule, meaning the champ can be challenged anytime, anywhere, by anyone who brings a sanctioned referee. This rule led to a crazy match in Comox last time that had three title changes before the dust settled and Acadian Assassin left with the title his name has become synonymous with. He’s managed to hold onto it since then, but anything can and will happen in Comox.

For the ICW Vancouver Island Tag Team championship: Some of the Island’s best pros will be battling for the gold in this match as the team of “The Horror Show” Matt Havik and Slade, defend against “Super Tremendous Dudes” Krofton and Comox Valley’s own Barry Goode. The Horror Show overcame steep odds to end The Chain Gang’s three-year reign as tag team champions, but they’ve yet to defend their titles against a team with the flair and experience of STD.

The Vancouver Island Charity championship will also be on the line in an invitational, over-the-top-rope battle royale.

Others scheduled to appear include: “Big” Willy Johnson, suspended Bruins’ enforcer Ron “The Hammer” Domi, A-Train, The Bumbling B, Major America, El Taco Grande, and more.

Also appearing is Goat FM’s “Rock Dawg” Andrew Davis as the celebrity ring announcer and MC, as well as newly-hired ICW commissioner, Courtenay city councillor Manno Theos, who promises to bring some justice and order to his new position at the helm of ICW.

All seats are available for only a minimum $5 donation, making ICW low-cost family entertainment that anyone can see, and also helping local charity. It will be held at the K’omoks First Nation gym next to the I-Hos Gallery, at 3320 Comox Rd. in Courtenay. Doors open at 7 p.m. and bell time shortly after. Seating is limited so ticket pre-purchase is recommended, however unsold tickets will be available at the door.

In addition to continued support from The Real Canadian Superstore, this year ICW has teamed up with a great local sponsor, Aliens vs. Pizza. In addition to being ICW’s official ticket outlet at their restaurant at 542 Comox Rd., Courtenay (near Lewis Park), they have also pledged to donate 20 per cent of the sales of their feature “Planet X” pizza to add to ICW’s donation, so what better time to try out a great new pizza and help local charity at the same time?

Tickets are also available from any participant, or by phoning 250-792-3332. Donations are very much appreciated, so even if you are not sure you can make it to the show, or are not a fan of wrestling but like to help out, consider buying a ticket anyway to show your support.

– Island Charity Wrestling

The “Tween” group from the Comox Valley Child Development Association did some fundraising and donated part of their proceeds to YANA. Many thanks to this group for thinking of YANA in their fundraising efforts.

A shout out to a terrific trio! Thank you Darlene, Lesley and Judy for keeping the office running smoothly and for adding warmth and humor to the office atmosphere.

Three enterprising young girls, called the Three Kidpreneurs, made crafts and sold them at the Comox Mall. Thank you Sarah, Carly and Anna for donating part of your sales to help other kids when their families really need it.

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