In its 26th year, the YANA Big Love Benefit, will host a fabulous crowd of supporters, who come for the food, friends, fun, and most importantly to be part of the giving that surrounds YANA in the Comox Valley.
Dinner by Tria Fine Catering and a silent auction are followed by a much anticipated photo presentation by McKinnon Photography, featuring a YANA family. A raffle for West Jet tickets and an exciting live auction add to the fun as do some other surprise additions to this year’s gala. As the organization’s largest annual fundraiser the event plays an important role in funding YANA’s programs.
Holding the event is a huge undertaking admits YANA Executive Director, Marcie Dumais, “This special night is possible only through the amazing efforts of our volunteers and the generosity of our community, which is at the heart of who we are and what we are able to accomplish.”
An example of the commitment of YANA’s volunteers is in auctioneer Dave Stevens who has been the evening’s auctioneer since its inception.
“I was approached by YANA founder, Sandra Williams, she had the idea of writing to celebrities for signed donations and auctioning them off, I immediately said ‘Let’s do it’,” remembers Stevens. “That was 26 years ago, the auction has changed and grown since then, I’d say it’s better than ever.”
“Dave leaves his winter retirement vacation early each year to fly back to the Comox Valley and be part of this event,” says YANA President, Judy Cryer. “We are truly humbled by his commitment to YANA and that of all our volunteers and donors who make this night possible.”
For his part Stevens is happy to do it, “There’s a wonderful feeling in the room,” he says. “It really is filled with some very big love!”
YANA provides accommodation and funding to Comox Valley families who need to travel for the medical care of a child or pregnant mother. Last year YANA was able to help 146 local children and their families.
To be part of the generosity that is required to host such an event, you can donate an item or service to the auction. Consider getting a group of colleagues, friends or teammates together to donate jointly. Or help cover event expenses by becoming a sponsor of the Big Love Benefit. Details on sponsorship opportunities are available upon request.
Interested in attending? Tickets go on sale Sunday, January 24th at 9:00am and are sold through YANA’s online ticket store. Tickets are $75 each. Last year tickets sold out in 5 minutes so mark your calendars and set your alarm clocks!
Dr. Marnie Grant and Dr. Ken Heinrich of Courtenay Family Chiropractic helped YANA start the new year off in the right direction with a donation that they hope will help strengthen local families.
“Just as we are dedicated to wellness in our practice we want to contribute to the wellness of our community, we feel our best resource is in our expertise and looked for an opportunity to incorporate that with giving,” explains Grant.
Spinal Wellness Education proved just such an opportunity. These chiropractors regularly conduct complimentary spinal check-ups at various health expos in the Comox Valley. 100% of all fees collected for in-office check-ups that arise from these events are donated to YANA.
“It is through these events, with the help of all our amazing patients, past and present, that we are able to make this donation,” says Heinrich. “We have seen many clients through our practice and have personal friends who have benefitted from the care of YANA and we felt it was a perfect fit for our support.”
Dr. Ken and Dr. Marnie both have a passion for keeping familes healthy. They love raising their two beautiful daughters, and working in the Comox Valley. They both enjoy an active lifestyle and much of their spare time is spent, with their family, in the outdoors.
This holiday season 5,000 YANA Cristmas crackers were sold across the Comox Valley. They contained the usual fun pleasures plus 50 crackers held special prizes, including one with a grand prize.
Braydon Nickel was the lucky winner of the 2015 grand prize, a diamond ring, donated by Mark the Gold Guy.
This gorgeous piece has an appraised value of $4545. Braydon opened the winner while celebrating at an early Christmas dinner with his family.
This fundraiser is a holiday tradition at YANA that is supported by the community. Volunteers spend hundreds of hours crafting these festive treats, local businesses sell them and many of our friends purchase and make them a special part of their Christmas celebration.
The proceeds from YANA Christmas crackers support our funding and accommodation program for families who must travel outside our community for the medical care of a child or pregnant mother. Last year YANA was able to assist 146 local children and their families. To find out more about how we help, click here.
A big thank you to everyone who made this campaign a success and such a big win for YANA!
Happy holidays from the YANA Board of Directors! Back left: Adam Wunderlich, Lauren Clark, Kelly Rusk, Kate Berg and Marcel Moose. Front left: Laura Bomback, Judy Cryer, Lesley Hunter and Hugh Mackinnon. Missing from photo: Ron Arksey.
The YANA BIG LOVE BENEFIT historically known as the YANA Dinner & Auction will be held Friday, February 26th, 2016 at the Florence Filberg in Courtenay. Tickets go on sale Sunday, January 24th at 9am. Tickets will be sold online through our ticket store. Last year we sold out extremely fast (under 5 minutes). Save the date and set your alarm clocks! Tickets cost $75 each, tax and fees included. We hope you will join us for this special evening filled with gratitude, friends and fun. Interested in being a part of the ‘big love’ that is required to host this event? More information here.
For 15 years, the Driftwood Mall has invited community members to decorate Christmas trees which are displayed in the mall concourse and auctioned off to support YANA Comox Valley.
Local businesses, families, and individuals get creative with these uniquely themed trees that celebrate the spirit of community giving. Auction winners take home a decorated tree, complete with gifts, and the proceeds help local families who need to travel for the medical care of a child under 19 or pregnant mother.
This Driftwood Mall tradition is a much anticipated holiday event.
“We’re always excited to see which businesses participate and how the trees look.” Says shopper, Katie Faith. “For the last couple of years we have bid on a tree and donated it to a local family, we love that we’re supporting YANA at the same time. It’s a great way to give twice”
The Comox Valley airport is sponsoring a tree for the second year in a row. Last year’s tree, aptly named ‘the Gift of Flight’ garnered a winning bid of $2,500. Driftwood Mall businesses are big supporters of this event, London Drugs, Quality Foods, and the Driftwood Lotto Center will be decorating again this year.
Among the annual favourites is a tree donated by the Chalifoux/Buschomb family, with hand painted gourds that celebrate a unique theme each year. Home Depot uses the colour orange to create its seasonal tree which this year comes with an electric hearth and stockings to hang on it. A weekend getaway at the Kingfisher that incudes a hydropath visit and some stocking stuffers from the spa is a must see!
“Mackenzie Gartside always does a rainbow themed tree with amazing gifts,” says Faith, adding, “But there’s an ‘Elf on the Shelf’ tree from the Comox Valley Business Network that I’ll be bidding on this year.”
With over 25 trees to view and bid on, it’s a great place for families to stop and have some fun deciding on their favourite.
“This is such a neat event to attend,” says YANA President, Judy Cryer. “We are so grateful to the Driftwood Mall and all the wonderful businesses and individuals who donate these beautiful trees every year. We’re thrilled to be the beneficiary of such generosity.”
Viewing and bidding starts Saturday, November 21st and goes until Saturday, December 5th at 9pm. Winners take home their amazing trees on Sunday, December 6th.
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.
As 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.
Christmas crackers go on sale Thursday, November 19th for $3 each and can be purchased at the following locations:
– YANA Office, SOLD OUT
– 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!
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.
Although 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.