Mason Walker of Re/Max Ocean Pacific shows his support of local charities by offering to donate a percentage of his commission to the charity of the buyer’s choice. YANA was the grateful recipient recently. Thank you for this generosity.

It was a pleasure to be invited to the Comox Fire Department to share an in depth look at how we help families. We value their continued support and were thrilled to receive another donation on the night of the presentation. Thank you, Comox firefighters.

It seems a little late for Christmas kudos, but we want to thank Bill and Joy Bell who annually sell Christmas trees at their farm by donation to YANA.

Annie Handley at Mex Pub June 3rd

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Annie Handley will be performing with her band at the Mex Pub on June 3rd as guest performer of the 1st Tuesday Fundraisers concert series. The musical journey of this Vancouver Island singer/songwriter is an inspiration for those who love great songwriting, as well as for those who’ve shared their own music on YouTube – a forum where Annie’s songwriting talent and musical imagination have attracted followers from around the world.

Annie Handley

Her music is a wonderful paradox that combines universal themes of beginnings and endings, quests and conclusions in both gentle and edgy grooves with a styling reminiscent of rocker Sheryl Crow. Her debut CD titled “No Shoobie” topped the “What’s Hot” pop music category on iTunes Canada. Among Annie’s musical accolades is placing in the top 3 of BC Music Magazine’s New Music category and in the top 30 in a world-wide search for Alternative Music in 2010. Her Song “Bring Me Back Alive” was selected to be on the Television show “Beauty and the Beast”.

Annie is joined by Telecaster-toting guitarist Doug Biggs, well known in the Comox Valley and beyond for his creative approach and discerning ear. As comfortable on stage as behind the sound board, Doug is an established engineer/producer from Southern Ontario who has produced numerous projects for local artists including Annie, and is a valued member of sound crew at many Vancouver Island events including Musicfest. On the kit is seasoned studio drummer Bill Cymbala who has recorded with Daniel Lanois, Sylvia Tyson, Raffi, and Jerry Doucette among others. In addition to playing with Annie Handley, Bill will be performing on the main stage with the Ray Materick Band at Musicfest this year. Setting the groove on the bass will be Dave Devindisch of Campbell River who joined the band DDT with Courtenay legend Brian Howes. After signing an international record deal, the band toured Europe and had the opportunity to open for Kid Rock. With so much seasoned musical talent on stage, the evening will be an incredible show of fine songwriting, performance, and musicality.

Admission to enjoy this evening of great music is a donation to YANA, a Comox Valley charity that has been supporting local families in times of health crisis since 1986. YANA supports local families whose children require medical treatments not available locally. They provide accommodation, and travel assistance so that families can stay together during stressful times. YANA is a charity near and dear to the hearts of many valley residents helping thousands of families by funding medical trips to Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, as well as the U.S. and England.

The evening begins at 7:30pm with an opening set by event organizers and hosts Judy and Bruce Wing, followed by Annie Handley and her band. Food donations for the Comox Valley Food Bank are also much appreciated. For more information about Annie Handley, visit

Thank you to new owner, Lisa Qu, from the Bamboo Inn who made an immediate impact in the community by donating all proceeds from her re-opening luncheon to YANA.


Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride Confirmed for 2014

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Local charity You Are Not Alone (YANA) have announced the date for this year’s Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride.

The ride will take place on Sunday, 17 August at Marina Park in Comox. There is a route for cyclists of all abilities including 25km, 50km or 100km rides. We’ll also be hosting a 5km family loop and a special run bike race for those not yet comfortable with pedals. To register for the event and to learn more, click here

Anyone who has a bike is encouraged to join the ride and for those who don’t, but would like to be involved, please consider volunteering with us on the day.

Last year 271 cyclists of all ages joined YANA and helped raise over $28,000, all of which went to help Comox Valley families in need. YANA’s Executive Director, Marcie Dumais, says, “The event is a defining part of YANA’s fundraising calendar, it’s great family fun and we are delighted that Simon’s are partnering with us again.”

Alex Dunae, 2013 YANA Ride Participant recalls, “I signed up for the YANA 50km ride on a whim and immediately regretted committing myself so publicly to the longest ride of my life.  But with friends and family committing cash, riding was the only option.   And so I rode.  49kms later I climbed Comox Hill and was grinning as I cruised to the finish.  I’ll definitely be back for 2014.”

20130818-DPRO2555Co-owner of Simon’s Cycles, Patti Fletcher, shares, “We had so much fun we’re doing it again. The organizing committee is working hard to confirm event details for this year’s ride, we plan to keep the routes the same. We know that people are scheduling their summer cycling events now and we want the 2014 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride to be the part of those plans. We have also been able to confirm the training rides will be back this year – they are starting soon and open to all those registered for the ride.”

To view the 2013 ride video visit: or for more information drop by Simon’s on Comox Avenue.

Photography Credit:

YANA Week in the Schools!

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IMG_0780YANA Week in the Schools is set for next week, May 4 – 9, 2014. The week will kick-off with Croquet for YANA on Sunday, May 4th at Highland Secondary School from noon until 3pm.  Many schools plan events during the week that raise awareness and funds for YANA, though many other schools support YANA at other times of the year. Building a partnership between YANA and our local schools provides an opportunity to celebrate kids helping kids, to teach social responsibility and to inform staff and students about how YANA uses raised funds to help local families.

Some of the events scheduled to celebrate YANA week include:

  • Mark Isfeld’s Zumba for YANA on April 27th
  • A bake sale at Highland on May 1st
  • Croquet for YANA at Highland on May 4th
  • A garage sale at Miracle Beach Elementary on May 7th
  • A coin drive and bake sale at Puntledge Elementary on May 7th
  • The next monthly Hat Day at Valley View on May 9th (they have raised $400 already from previous months – well done!)
  • Principal (Kyle Timms) and teacher (Heather Freeland) from Courtenay Elementary are having their heads shaved for donations to YANA at an assembly on May 9th (photo below)
  • Aspen Park Elementary’s Hat Day on May 13th
  • Royston Elementary’s awareness assembly on May 14th
  • Queneesh Elementary’s skip-a-thon for YANA on May 15th
  • Vanier is having an Advisory Group Coin Drive and BBQ culminating on May 29th
  • Cumberland Elementary will be hosting a fun fair called Village Fest on June 4th

A heart-felt thank you to all of the staff and students that are participating in YANA Week in the Schools and to the schools who support YANA at other times of the year.

Check out the article in the Echo about Croquet for YANA.



Kids’ Clutter Sale on April 26th

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The Comox Valley Kids’ Clutter next sale is on Saturday, April 26th from 9am to 12pm at the Courtenay Legion on Cliffe Avenue.  The sale offers local families the opportunity to either buy and/or sell gently used children’s clothing, toys and equipment. Learn more about the Kids’ Clutter Sale here.

This semi-annual event has grown over the years and has been run by Chelsey Newton. Chelsey has supported local charities, such as YANA by donating partial proceeds from the sale. Recently, Newton chose to donate the Kids’ Clutter Sale to YANA, so for the first time, this will be the YANA Kids’ Clutter Sale.  “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to run this  semi-annual event for our community as a fundraiser for YANA. Chelsey has worked so hard at making this a successful event over the years and we are so grateful for her generous donation,” states YANA President, Judy Cryer.

Judy Chelsey PhotoThe Kids’ Clutter Sale makes selling items much easier and also offers the opportunity to buy well priced and gently used items for children. There are hundreds of items to choose from and items often disappear quickly at this popular sale. Partial proceeds from the sale are returned to the sellers and the balance will help YANA with the work we do for families.

Photo: Chelsey Newton and her parents (the Nelsons) pass on Kids’ Clutter to YANA, represented by Judy Cryer, President.

The spirit of community at the Comox Military Family Resource Centre makes a real difference. The Java Talk networking group raised $500 by organizing family photo shoots by donation to YANA.

ComoxMFRC_YANA Donation

Huge thanks to Rainforest Outdoor Living for raising $10,000 through a hot tub dream package raffle. Special thanks to the package partners: Lacasse Construction, Aiki Electric, Comox Valley Echo, Jet FM, ABC Printing & Signs, and Ian Adams Design and Illustration.