General News

Bringing the Bling to YANA

Posted on

In 1997 Sandra Williams, founder of YANA, approached Mark Dalziel of Comox Valley Pawnbrokers about donating a piece of jewellery to help raise money to assist Comox Valley families who needed to travel for the medical care of a child. He didn’t hesitate and 18 years later Dalziel, a.k.a. Mark the Gold Guy, is still ‘bringing the bling’ to YANA.

2014-12-17 11.59.13As a teenager Dalziel grew up next door to the Williams family. When their daughter, Roberta, became ill and spent months in Vancouver for treatment, he saw first hand what that can mean for a family. “The most important thing for a child in that situation is having their parents by their side,” he says, “That is what home means to them.”

For almost 20 years YANA has welcomed the holiday season by making and selling Christmas Crackers. Each cracker is lovingly handcrafted by volunteers and filled with fun prizes. 50 crackers have special prizes, including one with a grand prize. This year Dalziel has donated a diamond ring appraised at $4,545 as the grand prize for this holiday tradition.

2015 Christmas Cracker Grand PrizeChristmas crackers go on sale Thursday, November 19th for $3 each and can be purchased at the following locations:

– Driftwood Mall Christmas Tree Display, Courtenay SOLD OUT
– Driftwood Dental, Cliffe Ave., Courtenay SOLD OUT
– BCAA, Cliffe Ave., Courtenay SOLD OUT
– First Insurance, 8th Street, Courtenay SOLD OUT
– Edible Island, 6th Street, Courtenay SOLD OUT
– F.D. Interiors, 5th Street, Courtenay SOLD OUT
– Blush Salon, 5th Street, Courtenay SOLD OUT
– Coastal Community Credit Unions, all branches SOLD OUT
– Harbourview Dental, Comox Ave., Comox SOLD OUT
– Comox Recreation Centre, Noel Ave., Comox SOLD OUT
– Arizona Gift Gallery, Comox Mall SOLD OUT
– 40 Knots Winery, Anderton Rd., Comox SOLD OUT
– Seeds Market, Dunsmuir at 3rd Street, Cumberland SOLD OUT
– First Credit Union, Dunsmuir Rd., Cumberland SOLD OUT
– Vancouver Island Visitor Centre, 3607 Small Road off the Hwy Connector SOLD OUT
– Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire at the Florence Filberg Centre Nov 13-15
– Christmas at the Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park Craft Fair Nov 28 only

These Comox Valley favourites sell out long before Christmas, so don’t miss out!

Cracker crafting drop-in sessions wrapped up

Posted on


Please note that day time cracker crafting drop-in sessions are wrapped up for this year. We are nearly done making 5,000 Christmas crackers thanks to a great community response. Scheduled evening sessions are full and will proceed as planned. Thank you to everyone who is helping with this annual tradition.


Volunteers needed for YANA Christmas Cracker construction!

Posted on

cracker volunteersAlthough most of us may not be thinking of the holidays just yet, You Are Not Alone (YANA) is gearing up for its annual Christmas fundraiser and they need the community’s help.

YANA’s Christmas cracker campaign raises funds to help Comox Valley families who must travel for the medical care of a child under 19 or an expecting mother.

The popular crackers will go on sale mid-November, but YANA needs volunteers to help make the 5,000 crackers starting Oct. 13.

“We have been making Christmas crackers for almost 20 years now,” says YANA president, Judy Cryer. “We are so fortunate that we have so many volunteers who come out to lend a hand.”

“It’s a really fun time to be in the YANA office,” adds coordinator Lesley Hunter. “Everybody has a good time and you meet new people; it’s very festive.”

While most of the crackers feature the traditional coloured hat, quote and toy, 50 of them will include special prizes and one will include the grand prize, a diamond ring, donated by Mark the Gold Guy at Comox Valley Pawnbrokers, with an appraised value of $4,545! The crackers will be sold at various businesses, and at the YANA office starting in November.

Volunteers can drop-in from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during October and into early November, depending on need. Cracker-making sessions take place at the YANA office at 495 Fitzgerald Ave. in Courtenay.

This is a volunteer opportunity best suited for adults and seniors.

Hunter is looking forward to the next few weeks of crafting and notes the crackers are “a Christmas tradition” in the Valley, and she looks forward to meeting new volunteers who want to keep this tradition of compassion alive.

Kids’ Clutter Sale scheduled for October 18 at Courtenay Elementary

Posted on

The Kids’ Clutter Sale is coming soon! Kids.Clutter(crops)Oct2015-page-001


Posted on

Join us Thursday, October 1st at 6:30 pm for the YANA 2015 Annual General Meeting in our office at 495 Fitzgerald Avenue in Courtenay. This is a great way to find out more about YANA and see what we have been able to do in the community this year. Join us in celebrating the generosity of the Comox Valley!


This lovely piece, donated by Jody Macdonald, represents our vision and values and will be on display.

Natasha Sam creates outreach video for YANA

Posted on

September 5th was the official release of Natasha Sam’s outreach video for YANA. Natasha is one of many students who participated in the Comox Valley Art Gallery’s Youth Media Project and YANA is delighted to be the recipient of her efforts.

Shifty Sailors singing for YANA

Posted on

Shifties on Suva[2]Ahoy mateys – You Are Not Alone (YANA) of Comox Valley is proud to present America’s infamous Shifty Sailors in concert for a night of song and folklore.

The Shifty Sailors – the largest singing group of their kind in North America – are in their 22nd year bringing sea shanties and maritime music to the world.  The “Shiftys” sing about lighthouses; shipwrecks; military; songs of fishes and whales, and last but not least, good ol’ sailors’ drinking songs.  From serious to lighthearted with instrumental accompaniment by a squeeze box (accordion), guitar and banjo and 20 harmonizing voices, the Shiftys are coming to Comox to bring you a night of fun entertainment.

Having performed at Tall Ship Festivals in Europe, singing festivals in Bergen, Norway; Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; Gdynia, Poland; Leubeck, Germany; Waterford, Ireland; Cherbourg, France, and Prague, Czech Republic, and all over the United States, the Shifty Sailors are excited to add Comox to their list of swash buckling concerts.

Admission is by donation and supports YANA’s work providing Comox families with sick children, or pregnant mothers with medical needs, with travel and accommodation assistance to reach crucial medical treatments outside the Comox community.

Set your sails for music and singing of days gone by with the Shifty Sailors – Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Comox United Church, 250 Beach Drive, in Comox.  You’ll be happy you did matey.

Find out more on the Community Led Events page at or call YANA at 250-871-0343.

A beautiful day for a ride

Posted on

August 16th was a beautiful day for a ride! 525 cyclists supported by 145 volunteers made the 2015 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride amazing and raised $44,000 for local families. We are filled with gratitude and good memories. Have a peek at some snapshots shared on our Facebook page. More photos to come!


Patti Fletcher and Simon Brampton from Simon’s Cycles

Registration is closed for Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride

Posted on

Thank you Comox Valley! The Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride (Sunday, August 16) is now at capacity, and registration is closed. Little ones with run bikes are still welcome to join us on ride day for the run bike event, participation by donation. We are still working hard to raise $45,000, these funds would cover 7 months of accommodation expenses for YANA families. Please consider making a donation to help us reach this goal. Click here to make a donation.


Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride almost at capacity

Posted on

Thank you Comox Valley! The Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride is almost at capacity! We are able to host 525 cyclists this year. We will be closing registration when we have 525 cyclists registered. Regardless of numbers we will not be accepting registrations at Marina Park on ride day this year. Little ones with run bikes are still welcome to join us on ride day for the run bike event, participation by donation. For more information on the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride, click here.