General News

1st Tuesday Fundraiser, May 5th at the Mex

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Darwin Gagne of Campbell River will be performing an evening concert at the Mex Pub on May 5th, 6:30 to 9:30pm, as guest performer of the 1st Tuesday Fundraisers. His last band “Elmer Thudd” played around Campbell River and Comox Valley for many years, and audiences enjoy his guitar work on renditions of popular songs by James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, and Billy Joel. Although the band is no longer playing, Darwin continues to play where he can house parties and open mics.  “I play whatever music catches my mood of the moment, and so I end up with an eclectic mixture of cover tunes and some original music,” says Darwin.
1st Tuesday Darwin Gagne, May 5, 2015
The evening concert is by donation, and proceeds will go to YANA (you can bring a non-perishable food item for the Comox Valley Food Bank). “We’re grateful to be included again, and happy that Darwin Gagne has chosen to support YANA and the local families that access our services with his music,” says Ocean Varney, Community Relations Coordinator at YANA.

“Darwin’s music is very appealing to audiences,” says event organizer Judy Wing. “My husband Bruce and I have hosted open mics in the Comox Valley for many years, and Darwin is a performer that patrons inquire about to know when they’ll get a chance to hear him again. If they don’t know him by name, they refer to him as the James Taylor guy, and we know just who they mean.”

Ladies Night!

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mix business with pleasure at this super annual event hosted by Central Builders.

central builders ladies night 2015


4th Annual Croquet For YANA Means Fun For Everyone

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.