General News

4th Annual Croquet For YANA Means Fun For Everyone

Posted on

Croquet for YANA / Drive One for your School Event and Grad Car Wash at Mark Isfeld Secondary, Sunday, May 3rd and Highland Secondary Sunday, May 10th

Looking for a fun family event while supporting local non-profit YANA and the Mark Isfeld and Highland Grads?  Then the fourth annual ‘Croquet for YANA’ event at Isfeld Secondary School in Courtenay on Sunday May 3rd and at Highland Secondary May 10th is the perfect fit! The event will include the popular annual ‘Croquet for YANA’, the opportunity to test drive a new Ford vehicle, and grad car washes and barbeques.

Christopher and Wendy Smith kindly initiated Croquet for YANA (You are Not Alone), the local non-profit group that helps families cover the cost of out-of-town accommodation and expenses whilst a child is receiving medical treatment outside of the Comox Valley.  The Smiths started hosting the event three years ago, the day after their wedding!  Chris lost his wedding ring somewhere on the croquet pitch and still has not found it saying “… it must still be honeymooning!”

YANA Croquette

Although the Croquet for YANA event has been successful, the Smiths understand that business owners can be overwhelmed by requests to support charities.  So they began to explore ways to add to the charity event but lessen the blow to the business community by combining a number of charities under one tent.  This year the Smiths are partnering with the Mark Isfeld and Highland Secondary Grad Executives to help with their grad fundraising.

The Smiths believe the concept of ‘Croquet for YANA’/Drive One for the Community’ is all about giving local business ‘exposure’ for their charity efforts.  Each supporting business is given a plot of land on the croquet field to advertise themselves anyway they want but they must also add a croquet ‘hole’ with a start and end and at least 5 wickets. It is just like mini golf.  Tickets are sold, by donation, to players wanting to play the various creative holes.  Players are encouraged to wear colourful costumes and decorate or dress their mallets.  Croquet equipment is all provided by the Smiths and no experience is necessary! The activity is suitable for all ages and last year croquet players ranged in age from 5 to 90.

croquet“It is a win-win,” said Smith, “Local businesses get to interact with the community and the community gets a fun event to enjoy and most important YANA gets much needed support.”  Apparently a number of businesses are going the extra mile this year staffing their creative croquet holes with greeters to add instruction and encouragement to players.

Both school Principals, Mark Isfeld’s Jeff Taylor and Highland’s Dean Patterson are supportive of the events as part of YANA week in the schools.  A  YANA spokesperson (Hugh MacKinnon) gave accolades to the Smiths for their community leadership and sponsorship of this event and encouraged participation and thanked in advance support for YANA. Smith concluded by saying, “A small community working together can accomplish amazing things, let’s come together on consecutive Sundays at 11:30 to 3 pm and support YANA,recognize the businesses that support our community and make some memories!”  Tickets, by donation, will be available at 11 am at pre-registration table in the parking lots at both schools prior to the event which starts at 11:30 am, but you can join in anytime!  For more information contact Chris Smith at 250-339-1860, Mark Isfeld Secondary at 334-2428, Highland Secondary at 250-339-5525 or the YANA office at 250-871-0343. And, remember, in the Comox Valley, You Are Not Alone!


YANA Kids’ Clutter Sale April 19 at Courtenay Elementary

Posted on

There are all kinds of ways you can get involved in the YANA Kids’ Clutter Sale which is scheduled on April 19, 2015 at Courtenay Elementary School.  Become a seller, donate items for us to sell, volunteer at the sale or shop… or consider combining all of these opportunities for the full Kids’ Clutter experience!  A shout out to our volunteer coordinators, Tanya Del Bianco and Dennyse Harris, for their behind the scenes work on this great consignment sale for YANA.

Kids Clutter Poster

Great Big Community Scavengar Hunt

Posted on

Look at the fantastic slogan ideas we gathered from participants in the Great Big Community Scavenger Hunt. We’re impressed! Thanks for visiting us, we hope to see you again soon!


Telus ‘TV For Good’ Does Good For YANA

Posted on

Telus manager for Comox Valley, Dirk Jezierski, presents YANA with a cheque for $15,000, the proceeds from its recent ‘TV For Good’ campaign. The campaign saw YANA receive $25 for every new Optik TV customer in the Comox Valley.

Accepting on behalf of YANA are president Judy Cryer, Yvonne and Mark Yule, and their son Markus. Markus was diagnosed with brain cancer in September 2013 and underwent major surgery and radiation treatments and was declared cancer free in June 2014. He continues to travel for medical appointments as he heals and grows stronger.

“Markus is an amazing guy,” says Cryer “He is upbeat, full of personality, funny, and always willing to come and lend us a hand when we need him. We love having him around and we love that he was here to accept this cheque on our behalf.”

Comox Valley Telus manager Dirk Jezierski presents to Markus Yule on behalf of YANA. Yvonne Yule, Mark Yule, Judy Cryer

Comox Valley Telus manager Dirk Jezierski presents to Markus Yule on behalf of YANA. Yvonne Yule, Mark Yule, Judy Cryer

Easter Eggstravaganza April 6 at Marina Park

Posted on

Are you looking for some Easter fun?  Come to Marina Park in Comox on Monday, April 6th at 11:30 am and be ready for the egg hunt at noon.  This activity and all kinds of other family fun will be waiting for you.


Big Hearts Make For Big Giving

Posted on

The Comox Valley community came together once again at the YANA 2015 Annual Dinner and Auction and raised a record breaking $70,200 for You Are Not Alone.

A total of 332 guests attended on Feb. 27 for YANA’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Tickets went fast, selling out online in January, in five minutes.

Roberta Williams picks the winning ticket for the West Jet Raffle at 2015 YANA Dinner and Auction. Picture credit to Ron Pogue Photography.

Roberta Williams picks the winning ticket for the West Jet Raffle at 2015 YANA Dinner and Auction. Picture credit to Ron Pogue Photography.

The evening featured dinner by Tria Fine Catering, a silent auction, a live auction with auctioneer Dave Stevens, a photo presentation of a very special YANA family, by Karen McKinnon, and lots of fun for guests.

“We were thrilled with this year’s auction,” said executive director, Marcie Dumais. “The spirit of giving in the room was profound, you could just feel it.”

“And you get that feeling all through planning this event,” addedYANA president, Judy Cryer.

“The donors, local businesses and individuals that fill the hall with auction items, they all give with so much good will and generosity toward YANA. It’s really a remarkable testament to this community.”

Founded in 1986 by the late Sandra Williams, YANA provides direct funding and accommodation to Comox Valley families who must travel for the medical care of a child or pregnant mother.

Some special guests were able to make the evening even more heartwarming.

“Sandra’s son, Jason, and his family were able to come from Edmonton to be here,” said Dumais. “And they were joined by Sandra’s husband, Jim and their daughter, Roberta. Roberta’s sudden illness as a child and the family’s subsequent experience of spending months away from home during Roberta’s treatment compelled Sandra to create YANA so that other families were not alone during their out-of-town medical treatment.”

“We were also joined by Karena Crumpler, who is a regular attendee of the evening, this year her son, Owen, was featured in the photo presentation and it felt so perfect that she was with us,” Cryer adds.

YANA has served the Comox Valley for 28 years.

Published in the Comox Valley Record on March 6, 2015.

2015 YANA Dinner & Auction Net Fundraising Total

Posted on

The Comox Valley community came together once again at the YANA 2015 Dinner and Auction and raised a record breaking $70,200 for local families. Sincere gratitude to everyone that contributed to the February 27th event. It was a night filled with community spirit thanks to numerous volunteers, joyful guests, generous donors and caring sponsors. We live in a community that cares about kids!


A Very Special Story Shared at 2015 YANA Dinner & Auction

Posted on

Words can’t adequately express our gratitude for all the love and support that came our way at the 2015 YANA Dinner & Auction. Our community reached out, joined in, and stood behind local families. We want to share this lovely photo presentation that was shown during the evening. This is one very special story, in the many stories that are YANA. Photo credits to McKinnon Photography and music thanks to Big Little Lions.

The fundraising total is being tallied and we’ll have that information soon! Preliminary numbers are looking fantastic! Please check back.

Have a coffee for YANA at Twisted Dishes Café

Posted on

Come down and have a cup of coffee to support YANA, a charity which helps Comox Valley families that need to travel to access medical treatment for their children.

Devin Sexton, owner of Twisted Dishes Café, is raising money for YANA.

From Feb. 24-28 all gourmet Umbria coffee will be offered by donation with all proceeds going to YANA.

Twisted Dishes Café is at 146 Port Augusta St. in Comox.

Fun, Food, Friendship and Giving

Posted on

YANA has announced their Annual Dinner and Auction date, set for February 27, 2015.

This popular evening brings the community together in celebration and support of YANA. Dinner and silent auction are followed by an exciting live auction, featuring auctioneer Dave Stevens. Karen McKinnon presents a much anticipated photographic documentary of the medical journey of a YANA family.

“The YANA Dinner and Auction is our biggest fundraiser,” explains President, Judy Cryer. “Not only does it generate a large part of our annual revenue but it’s an opportunity to acknowledge the 28 years of support this community has given to YANA and helps ensure we will be here for 28 more.”

YANA provides accommodation and direct funding to Comox Valley families who need to travel for the medical care of a child or pregnant mother. Founded in 1986 by Sandra Williams, YANA has assisted hundreds of families and upheld its grass roots ideal, that ‘You Are Not Alone.’

To be part of the generosity that is required to host such an event:
– Donate an item or service for the auction.
– Create a gift basket or purchase an item with a group of colleagues, friends or teammates and donate in the group’s name.
– Sponsor a table at the event for $150. Your marketing image will be displayed on the scrolling big screen, and your business information on tent cards at one of the tables. Details on this or other sponsorship opportunities available upon request.
– Attend the auction by purchasing a $60 ticket. Last year tickets sold out in one hour! They will go on sale on Sunday, January 18th at 9:00am and are available on-line only at

“We are blessed by the unique culture of giving that has grown around YANA,” says Executive Director, Marcie Dumais. “This beautiful story was graciously shared with us by YANA volunteer, donor, and auction guest, Jenny Deters, after last year’s event. It is a lovely illustration of the impact of our community’s commitment to YANA.”

“An Angel Walked Into The Room” by Jenny Deters

I had such a great time at the YANA Comox Valley auction last night. While I was there it occurred to me that not many people knew why this organization was so dear to my heart.

At 20 years old, I was flown by helicopter to Vancouver wearing nothing but a hospital robe. Five months pregnant with my second child and I was told that my kidneys were failing. I spent a very scary two months on bed rest until, at thirty-two weeks, they decided they could not wait any longer and had to deliver my little peanut. Isaiah was born at just three pounds and he was a miracle. I was told he would spend the next two months, at least, in hospital care, with most of that being in Vancouver.

Two days after my son was born, hospital staff came in to inform me that I was being released from the hospital. They needed my room for someone else. My baby had to stay, of course, but I could not.

Jenny Deters with her son Isaiah, who will turn 18 on Feb. 21I had no money, no clothing, nowhere to go. As I sat crying in my hospital bed wondering what I was going to do, scared, emotionally and physically drained from the traumatic birth of my tiny bundle two days earlier, an angel walked in to my room. She told me she was from some mysterious organization called YANA and they were here to lend me an apartment for as long as I needed, two blocks from the hospital. She also was going to give me some clothing so I did not have to walk the city naked, and filled the fridge full of food. Basically she gave me the ability to spend the first two critical months with my son worry free.

This was a gift that I could never repay. This is why I love this organization and those who volunteer/donate to ensure that other families can have this priceless gift as well. Thank you.