Originally published by Comox Valley Record – July 27, 2020
YANA has provided financial help to Melissa Helme and her seven-year-old daughter, Autumn, for a few years. This year, Autumn is giving back, by riding in the Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride. Photo by Andrea Postal.
There’s still time to register a team or sponsor a rider
By Andrea Postal – Special to The Record
With the 2020 Comox Bike Co YANA Ride taking on a whole new look in a socially-distanced fashion, the new format is proving to be a big win for the organization, riders, and business community.
Registration and pledge dollars are coming in strong for a fundraiser that typically brings in enough funds to cover over half the annual accommodation costs required for Comox Valley families travelling outside of the community for medical care of children and pregnant moms. Riders are excited about the prize incentives being offered this year, which are also a direct give back to the Valley’s local business community hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Autumn Helme and her mother Melissa (pictured) have been YANA clients and avid supporters for a few years now. Autumn and her mother make weekly trips down island for a therapy Autumn requires, and the financial assistance YANA provides has been invaluable.
“We both love YANA so much,” says mother, Melissa Helme. “Whether it’s a big emergency, or just a day trip out of town for a medical appointment, it all matters, and YANA helps relieve the financial burden of the trip. I also love the win-win-win approach to the YANA Ride this year. Everyone likes a chance to win something, and it’s such a great motivation to get more donations. Local businesses have really suffered in the last few months, and it’s so great to be supporting these businesses, and helping them bounce back and thrive.”
You may have spotted Autumn and Melissa at the finish line at previous year’s YANA rides, ringing bells and handing out medals or water bottles, but this year looks different. With group gathering restrictions in place, there will be no volunteer crew, rider send-off, or post-ride celebration party in the park for the 600 riders, countless volunteers, and community members that attend this sold-out event each year. This year’s YANA Ride is a flexible and socially distanced event where riders can register by donation and choose the when, where, and what they’ll ride, anytime between August 1st-15th. This new format has allowed for some of the newest riders to join and ride at their pace and comfort, like Autumn who has signed up as a first-time rider this year.
Autumn, or “Team Razzle Dazzle”, has committed to riding for 7 hours during the two-week window, one hour for each year. She only started riding her bike a few months ago, but can’t wait to use her newfound skill to support an organization that has supported her. She’s also excited about some of the great prizes up for grabs, and is hoping that ice cream from a local shop might be in her prize-winning future. And if ice cream and YANA support wasn’t enough, an anonymous donor has stepped up to match Autumn’s pledges up to $1,000 for YANA.
Local business partnerships are at the core of these fundraising events, and play an essential role through sponsorship and prize donation.
“We don’t have the hard costs of a physical event, of course, this year, so we made the choice to direct some of those sponsorship funds right back into the local economy,” said YANA executive director Kelly Barnie. “By using some of our sponsor dollars to purchase gift cards from these businesses, we’re getting behind those that have always found a way to be there for us, and we’re rewarding riders for setting and reaching some pretty awesome fundraising goals at the same time.”
Whether you’re a road cyclist, a mountain biker, or you enjoy a slow cruise around town, this year’s ride is for you and it isn’t too late to register yourself or a team. To sign up, donate to a rider, or get more info on this years’ event, visit
Originally published by Comox Valley Record – July 21, 2020
81-year-old grandpa Pradeep training for his YANA ride on team “Not Fast, Just Furious” all the way from the UK
The 2020 Comox Bike Company YANA Ride begins in less than two weeks.
The completely re-imagined event offers something for everyone regardless of age, ability or riding style. Participants can ride what they like for the event. As long as it has wheels and is person-powered, it’s perfect.
From road cyclists, mountain bikers and casual family riders to those who may prefer a more relaxed pace on their stationary bike while enjoying a TV show – this year’s ride is truly inclusive.
YANA (You Are Not Alone) has been helping Comox Valley families for almost 35 years. The charity provides accommodation and funding when a family needs to travel for medical reasons for a child or a pregnant mom. The $80,000 goal the volunteer committee has set for this annual fundraiser would cover over half the accommodation costs provided in a year.
Watch for riders on the roads, trails, tracks and living rooms near you from Aug. 1-15.
For more information or to register visit https://www.yanacomoxvalley.com/yana-event/ride
Originally published by Comox Valley Record – July 15, 2020
RBC Dominion Securities and their investment advisors Brendan Somers, Lara Austin, Don Somers, Brian Balfe, Sean Martin, and Blake Simpson have stepped up in a huge way in support of the 2020 Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride. They are matching all donations from July 15-25, up to a maximum of $5000.00.
RBC Dominion Securities and their investment advisors Brendan Somers, Lara Austin, Don Somers, Brian Balfe, Sean Martin, and Blake Simpson have stepped up in a huge way in support of the 2020 Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride, and they’re hoping the community will too.
Their goal is to help raise $10,000 in 10 days by matching donations to YANA Ride participants dollar for dollar, up to $5,000.00.
Don Somers explains that they like to make sure the community is looked after. “Especially this year, with COVID 19, there’s a lot of people who are struggling. We’re seeing a lot of incidents where people do need help, and an organization like YANA is just really rising up to the moment here.”
“We’re hoping people will pull out those wallets, and start making some of those donations,” added Brendan.
From July 15-25, every dollar donated to the YANA Ride will be doubled. There’s never been a better time to show your support for YANA!
YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a community organization offering help to Comox Valley families who need to travel for medical services for their children.
To register to ride, or make a donation that will be matched by RBC Dominion Securities, go to https://www.yanacomoxvalley.com/yana-event/ride
Originally published by Comox Valley Record – July 7, 2020
Registration for annual fundraiser ongoing
Excitement over this year’s Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride continues to build.
For the 2020 event riders can choose to ride anywhere they like, for any distance they like. In addition to the stalwart YANA supporters from the Comox Valley, riders this year have registered from as far afield as Calgary, Ottawa and England and will be riding on terrain ranging from roads to trails and tracks. The reimagined ride allows support for YANA by anyone from anywhere!
YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a community organization offering help to Comox Valley families who need to travel for medical services for their children. The Comox Bike Co. YANA ride is a major annual fundraiser for the Comox Valley organization.
The 2020 ride will take place Aug. 1-15.
For more information or to register visit https://www.yanacomoxvalley.com/yana-event/ride/.
Originally published by Comox Valley Record –June 24, 2020
Registration for the reinvented 2020 Comox Bike Company YANA Ride is now open.
Instead of the charity’s signature summer event that brings hundreds of riders and volunteers together, the eighth annual ride has been transformed into a fully flexible, ‘chart your own course’ ride format observing social distancing guidelines.
From expert cyclists to biking beginners, the 15-day event encourages riders of all ages and abilities to hop on their bikes and fundraise for YANA families. The fully flexible ride means participants choose when they ride anytime between Aug. 1-15, whether it is one day or multiple days. They also choose where they ride. From roads or trails to living rooms and tracks, 1 km or 1,000 km, the choices are unlimited. Participants even choose what they want to ride. From road bikes and mountain bikes to gravel bikes, e-bikes and trikes. If it has wheels and pedals, it is perfect for this ride.
“The news of not being able to hold our traditional event that raised $80,000 last year hit pretty hard,” said YANA board president Kelly Rusk. “It’s been really inspiring to see our volunteer organizers pivot the ride format so quickly, and to see how people are jumping right on board. The flexibility we’ve had to use this year has actually really opened things up. We have mountain bikers planning to ride the trails, a family in Ontario registered, and we’ve even heard about an 80-year-old grandpa in England who’s planning to ride his stationary bike for his grandsons’ team. It’s all pretty incredible!”
YANA supported over 600 medical trips last year and provided $322,876 in funding and accommodation support. In 2019, funds raised from the ride covered more than half the accommodation costs for children and pregnant mothers needing to travel out of our community for medical reasons.
“We are so thankful for the support our riders, sponsors and donors are showing for our families,” said YANA executive director Kelly Barnie. “So many families are facing financial challenges now that they never have before. The last thing we want any family worrying about is whether they can afford to get their child the medical care they need. Our fundraising events and donations allow us to promise the community that we’ll be there for them no matter what. Every kilometre cycled and every dollar raised makes sure we can keep that promise.”
All registered riders who are raising funds for YANA will be rewarded with prizes. Every single rider bringing in donations will receive a prize or gift card donated by or purchased at a local business using sponsorship funds.
The top 300 fundraising riders will receive an original design 2020 T-shirt thanks to Comox Bike Company YANA Ride sponsor, Dr. Andreas Conradi.
The ride will run from Aug. 1-15. Registrations are now open.
To sign up, sponsor a rider or get more information about the Comox Bike Company YANA Ride, visit https://raceroster.com/events/2020/31723/comox-bike-company-yana-ride
The 2020 Comox Bike Company Ride is a fully flexible, socially distanced event.
Registration is entirely by donation.
Whether you are in the position to give a little or to give a lot- Bikes will keep us together….even when we’re apart.
Show your love for biking and for the YANA families in our community, and join the team! Every dollar donated is used to provide support for families needing to travel for medical treatment for a child or pregnant mother.
Flex your ride!
- Ride WHEN you like- Any time between August 1-15, 2020.
- Early morning, late in the day, ride one day, or ride many days….the choice is yours!
- Ride WHERE you like- Choose your own personal route distance, location, and pace.
- 1km or 1000kms; road, trail, track, or living room; speed of light or a snail’s pace…the choice is yours!
- Ride WHAT you like- If it has wheels and is powered by YOU, it’s perfect for this ride.
- Road bike, mountain bike, gravel bike, e-bike, trike, unicycle….the choice is yours!
SAFETY FIRST– Ride Safely observing current social distancing guidelines and all rules of the road/trails.
To our YANA Families and Community Supporters,
Our YANA services will continue during the COVID-19 pandemic but we are continuing to do our part in slowing the spread and in keeping our clients and staff safe.
Effective June 1, 2020, we will be open for necessary drop-in visits during our normal Tuesday and Thursday 10:00am – 2:00pm office hours.
We ensure a sanitized environment in the office and will continue to take the appropriate precautions to minimize risks associated with the virus. ALL visitors will be required to answer health check questions before entering, wash hands or sanitize upon arrival, and maintain 6ft/2m social distance at all times.
If you are experiencing cough, shortness of breath, fever or any other COVID-19 type symptoms please do NOT visit the office.
To access client care services remotely or to connect with us about community fundraising or donations outside office hours, please call us at 250-871-0343 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding, and for your help in the coordinated effort stay safe as we start to cautiously reopen services in our community. 💗
Our YANA services will continue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and we are doing our part to slow the spread.
Effective immediately, we will open our office in Tin Town by appointment only until further notice.
Most of our support for YANA families can be provided via phone and email. In the event you do need to access our services at the office, we ensure a sanitized environment and will take the appropriate precautions to minimize risks associated with the virus.
To access client care services:
Send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, your child’s full name, your phone number and a description of the need for medical travel you are experiencing.
Call the office line at 250-871-0343 and leave a confidential voicemail including your full name, your child’s full name, your phone number and your email address. The voicemail messages are delivered immediately to our client care team via email. We will return your call ASAP (typically within the hour) Mon-Fri 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
Our office, mailbox and dropbox are being checked regularly. If you have a donation to drop off, please call or email 250-871-0343 or email@example.com to let us know. Thank you so much for your generosity!
We appreciate your support and understanding, and your help in the coordinated effort to flatten the curve.
Our YANA Board and staff are sending love and good health to everyone in our amazing community during this challenging time 💗
Our YANA services will continue as normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic but we are doing our part to slow the spread. Extra measures are being taken to clean and sanitize the apartments in Vancouver as families depart.
Much of our support for YANA families can be provided via phone and email. In the event you do need to access our services at the office, we ensure a sanitized environment and will take the appropriate precautions to minimize risks associated with the virus.
Anyone who displays symptoms, has been in contact with someone who displays symptoms or who has recently travelled internationally should first phone us if our services are required.
We appreciate your support and understanding.
Office hours: Tuesdays / Thursdays from 10am – 2pm
For more info on COVID19: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19
On every great team, each player puts their hand in for the cheer, and voices rise together to shout their rally cry. Each person in the circle knows if they play their role selflessly, with passion and determination, the result will be a source of huge pride for everyone involved.
And so it is with the 2020 YANA Big Love Benefit! Thank you to every sponsor, donor, attendee, volunteer and supporter who put their hands in and created this year’s record-breaking magical event. This was a big BIG win for YANA families in our community!
Thank you Ali Roddam Photography for capturing the electricity of the night, Jabin Postal Films for allowing everyone to see exactly what the Big Love surrounding YANA means to our community, and Karen at McKinnon Photography for sharing the touching story of one of the beautiful YANA families we all come together to support.