General News

Gear up for 2015 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride with training rides

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cyclists 2014Join Simon’s Cycles on the 25k or 50k official routes in preparation for one of the Comox Valley’s favorite cycling events. Anyone registered for the 2015 Ride on August 16 is invited to participate.

Cyclists will meet at Simon’s Cycles, Saturday, June 20 for this training opportunity with subsequent training rides happening June 27, July 4, 11, 18, 25 and August 8.

Those choosing the 50k route ride will meet at 8:45 am and leave at 9:00 am and should be prepared to complete the route in 3 hours maximum. The 25k route ride will meet at 9:15 am and leave at 9:30 am and be prepared to finish in 2 hours maximum. For more information about training rides, call Simon’s at 250-339-6683.

If you haven’t yet registered you can do so here. Cyclists registering before July 23rd will receive a commemorative t-shirt with the fantastic 2015 design.

Registration is open for August 16 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride

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Please join us for the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride for the love of riding and the love of YANA. The event is shaping up to be fantastic!  Free shirts to all participants who register before July 23 and to all volunteers who contribute to this spirited cycling event. Register here.



YANA beneficiary of artist’s talent

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28620comox09TheDanceYANA is about to get another cash infusion, thanks to the artistic talents of Merville resident Anne Davies.

Davies was recently announced as the “Overall Best of Exhibition Winner” in the inaugural Lilly Oncology on Canvas Canada Art Competition, for her entry, The Dance.

Lilly Oncology on Canvas Canada (LOCC) was created to help those affected by cancer cope with the emotional and physical effects of this disease, through the artistic representation of their cancer journey.

Davies has beaten cancer twice.

“I had been posting on the Canadian Cancer Connections site – it’s a site for people who either have cancer or have had cancer in the past – and I got a note from them saying there was this national competition,” said Davies. “I had posted my paintings on the site now and again but thought, OK I have never [entered a contest] before so I sent in a painting along with a 125-word narrative last September.”

Last week, Davies received notification that she had won the contest. She received a $2,000 first place prize, as well as two $250 prizes for winning two subsidiary categories. The prizes are awarded in the form of a donation to the charity of her choice. Davies has chosen You Are Not Alone.

She said that while there are a lot of worthwhile charities in the Comox Valley, YANA is special to her. Although Davies has never had to use YANA’s services before, she said as a parent, she has an intimate appreciation of the work the charity does.

YANA is a Comox Valley community organization that offers help to local families who need to travel to access medical treatment for their children.

“I chose them because they care for children and families,” she said. “I am a parent and nothing is worse than having a child in desperate need of care.”

Davies’ winning painting is called “The Dance”. She described the painting as an expression of her journey through two separate bouts of cancer.

“What I have come to know – and I don’t know if this is true for everyone – but from my experience, when you first hear you’ve got a cancer diagnosis, it’s overwhelming. It takes over everything and everything seems really dark,” she said. “Cancer doesn’t have a good track record. So it’s in the dance, because you struggle to leave fear behind and go towards health and happiness. That’s why there are two [scenes in the painting]. In the one, you’ll see the darkness, the moon and the sky. The bigger one is the dawn, and it is the dawn that brings the light.

“You have to keep positive when battling, and that’s the dance – the dance between the dark and the light. You are constantly struggling.”

She took her first painting course in the Comox Valley in 1999 and The Dance was painted at MusicFest.

“They have the people, and the tents lit up at night, and the moon to the left of the main stage – that was where it was painted,” she said.

Contest entries will be featured in healthcare centres across the country later this year.

by  Terry Farrell- Comox Valley Record

A Charming Letter From Pierce

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We received this letter from Grade 4 student, Pierce Gerritsen, and were reminded of all that is good in the world and in our schools. It is heartwarming to see kids helping kids and young people who want to make a difference in their community.  A shout out to teachers and parents who nurture this giving spirit. What a fantastic way to start YANA Week in the Schools!

Birthday Money Letter 2015

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