Thanks to a wonderful crew of crafty volunteers, we have nearly completed making 5,000 Christmas crackers. This Friday, October 28 will be the last crafting session from 10am to 4pm. Look to buy these beauties in participating businesses after Remembrance Day. You could be the lucky winner of this sparkly diamond ring donated by Mark the Gold Guy!
For almost 20 years YANA has welcomed the holiday season by making and selling Christmas Crackers. Our holiday tradition starts early. During the month of October, 5,000 crackers will be lovingly handcrafted by volunteers and filled with fun prizes. 50 crackers will have special prizes, including one with a grand prize. Drop-in crafting sessions are on now until the end of October. Please join us on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 10am – 4pm at the YANA office 102 -2456 Rosewall Crescent (Tin Town). Come get crafty with us!
A glimpse at the goods! Come see for yourself and get some great deals. Sunday, October 16 from 10am – 2pm at Courtenay Elementary School.
Now that we have reached capacity registration is closed. Please note no registration will be accepted on ride day.
You can still support YANA and this event by pledging a registered rider or by making a donation. Pledge by clicking here.
Caring for Comox Valley kids is how we roll!
Perry Feltham from Madman McKays is gearing up to do his 4th Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride on Sunday, August 21st. Madman Mckays have been hosting weekly barbeques on Saturdays to raise money for YANA. Feltham has also been raising funds privately as he and his wife will be participating in the 100km ride.
Feltham, an avid cyclist, has been a long term and regular patron of Simon’s Cycles.
“When Simon’s got on board with this annual cycling fundraiser and asked us to help with the training rides, we were happy to get involved. My wife and I have done many rides for different organizations over the years so it was natural to help locally in this way,” says Feltham.
What he didn’t anticipate was how affected he would become by being part of the event. He recalls stopping to refill his water bottle at a convenience store in Cumberland on one of his rides. The young lady at the cash register asked about his cycling jersey and he told her about the YANA Ride.
“Her face changed and her eyes welled up with tears,” recalls Feltham. “She said ‘I can’t tell you how much that means to me.’ And she told me her story and what YANA meant to her family, and when I came back outside my eyes had tears in them.”
Feltham and Madman McKays have been supporting the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride ever since.
“It’s just something you know is right, right for the community and right for us.”
To support the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride and pledge a cyclist click here.
We might not be as tough as the crew at Simon’s Cycles but we are equally pumped about the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride on August 21!
Registration will be open until 11:59pm Friday, August 19th OR until such time as we have 600 cyclists. No registration will be accepted on ride day.
You can help us reach our fundraising goal of $45,000 for YANA families by riding with us or by pledging a cyclist.
Find out everything you need to know about the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride through our registration and pledging site.
P.S. Yes, there will be tattoos at the event! Come to Marina Park in Comox on August 21 to get one for yourself and to help us cheer on these big-hearted cyclists.
The Comox Valley is getting ready to ride for YANA, and You Are Not Alone executive director Marcie Dumais couldn’t be happier.
The fourth annual Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride goes Sunday, Aug. 21 at Marina Park in Comox and Dumais, an avid cyclist herself, says all indications point to another fun and successful fundraiser.
“We have incredible sponsorship. Our goal this year … was to try and ensure that sponsors cover all event expenses, so that all the ride participation and any fundraising that’s done by cyclists goes directly to our program.”
Dumais grew up in Oliver, B.C. and lived there until going to the University of Victoria. “I fell in love with the Island,” she says.
“I trained as a teacher and taught in the Comox Valley for a few years. I went to do my masters (in resource management) at SFU then through odd circumstances ended up back in the Valley. My husband is from here…what a great place to raise our family…so we’ve been here since 2004.”
She became involved with YANA seven years ago when attending the auction at the group’s gala event. “I was so impressed with the cause and all the volunteers,” she says. “The ability to make a difference in your community, that’s what continues to drive what I do today.”
She joined YANA’s board of directors in 2011 then stepped up to become executive director in 2013 when Anita Brassard took a job with another foundation.
When she’s not guiding YANA, Dumais loves photography, cycling and “just being active in general – ‘fitness lite,’” she laughed.
Family is also important. “We spend a lot of time on west coast, Tofino. That’s something close to my heart. My husband surfs, I tend to boogie board with the kids. They’re a big focus of my life right now because they’re little.”
Dumais describes herself as a facilitator of fun. “I love games. Recently we had a board social and I was in charge of games. We had the board dressing up and eating chocolates with crazy big oven mitts on.”
Dumais’ efforts are certainly appreciated by YANA president Judy Cryer. “We’re so lucky to have her. She’s amazing. She goes way above and beyond.”
YANA supports families who must travel to receive medical attention, and the annual bike ride is one of their biggest events. More on Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride and the amazing work the organization does is at www.yanacomoxvalley.com
Whether you’re a novice on two wheels or a competitor preparing for a Gran Fondo, the annual Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride offers something for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
Proceeds from the Aug. 21 event will benefit You Are Not Alone (YANA) — a charity that provides accommodation and funding to Valley families that need to travel outside the community for medical treatment for a child under 19, or for an expecting mother.
“Our planning crew is in high gear,” YANA executive director Marcie Dumais said.
Routes include 25, 50 and 100 kilometre rides, and a 6 kilometre family loop. There will also be a run bike event for little ones not yet using pedals.
The longer loops will incorporate various stops at fueling stations, while the family ride includes a scavenger hunt with clues hidden at parks.
“It’s meant to be celebratory and joyful,” Dumais said. “It’s important, particularly in YANA’s work when so much of it is sad and so much of it is hard and challenging, to be able to have those good times together.”
The event has been growing each year in terms of participant numbers and funds raised. The 2013 ride had 271 cyclists and raised over $28,000; 2014 attracted 411 cyclists and generated more than $39,000; and the 2015 ride had 525 cyclists and brought in more than $44,000.
This year, the fundraising goal is $45,000.
For the first time, organizers are capping the event at 600 riders. Registration will close the day before the ride.
“We want to make sure that it’s safe and high-quality,” Dumais said. “Sometimes events get so big they get out of hand. We don’t want the quality to deteriorate.”
The YANA Ride is another example of a local event that is driven by volunteers. For 2016, Dumais figures they are already have 60 to 70 people.
“Volunteers really add to the spirit of the event, and they’re so important,” she said. “We rely on about 100 on the day of.”
The ride is at 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 at Marina Park in Comox. Those who register before July 22 will receive a souvenir T-shirt, thanks to Dr. Andreas Conradi.
For more information or to register, click here ; those wishing to volunteer can call YANA at 250-871-0343.
The Artisans at Potter’s Place celebrate Market Days, July 16th, by celebrating community.
Chances are that if you live in the Comox Valley you’ll have been to Downtown Courtenay’s Market Days where the downtown core transforms into a veritable street festival. Like other retailers, Potter’s Place is getting ready for this busy day by offering a sale.
But this one is different than most sales; that’s because the artisans at Potter’s Place hold this sale to raise money for YANA Comox Valley to support local families who need to travel for the medical care of a child or pregnant mother.
“We have about thirty potters who craft bowls specifically for this event,” says organizer Joe Stefiuk. “For a $20 donation you choose your favourite bowl and we fill it with rice and homemade chili, you have a great lunch, keep the bowl, and best of all you’re helping families right here in the valley.”
Collecting a bowl, each year, has become a tradition for many Market Day shoppers.
“It’s very special for our potters as well,” says co-organizer Dawn Zilke. “They start working on these bowls early in the year and some of them even collaborate and work together.”
Keltie Schalm stopped by with her twins for a preview. “We’re a YANA family and we love the spirit of community that this sale represents, made with love in the Comox Valley.”
Drop by the courtyard at Potter’s Place during Market Days on July 16 from 10am to 2pm, while supplies last!
180 5th Street at Cliffe in Courtenay.