General News

You Are Not Alone’s Big Love Benefit Goes Feb. 24

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You Are Not Alone Comox Valley is looking forward to hosting the Big Love Benefit on Friday, Feb. 24.

Over 300 guests will fill the Florence Filberg for an evening filled with friends, fun, and the spirit of giving. A silent auction and a delicious dinner by Tria Fine Catering will be followed by a heartfelt photo presentation by McKinnon Photography featuring a YANA family. A raffle for WestJet tickets and an exciting live auction led by Dave Stevens will add to the fun along with some other surprises.

“There is a lot of excitement around this event,” says YANA board director Lauren Clark, who is in her second year on the planning committee. “We want it to feel as special for everyone who attends as it is for us.”

“It is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” adds YANA president Judy Cryer. “So naturally it is very important to our organization, but it is also a real celebration of the community that comes together throughout the year to support YANA families.”

Photography by John Bonner courtesy of McKinnon Photography

Photograph by John Bonner courtesy of McKinnon Photography

YANA provides funding and accommodation to local children under 19 and pregnant mothers who need to travel outside the region for medical care. YANA maintains four furnished apartments near BC Children’s hospital in Vancouver and also provides accommodation in Victoria, Nanaimo, and other treatment locations. YANA’s funding and emergency programs assist families with some of the expenses of being away from home, such as food and travel.

This year You Are Not Alone marked its 30th year of service in the Comox Valley. YANA was founded by Sandra Williams after she experienced the sudden illness of her daughter and many months of subsequent medical treatment in Vancouver. Her vision of supporting local children and creating a home away from home for Comox Valley families in similar circumstances was realized in 1986 when YANA became a registered charity.

“Thirty years is really an amazing milestone!” says Clark. “It speaks volumes about who we are as a community.”

“I couldn’t be prouder to be continuing Sandra’s dream or prouder to live in the Comox Valley,” added Cryer.

To be part of the generosity that is required to host such an event, you can donate an item or service for 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. Please call 250-871-0343 or email for further details.

Interested in attending? Tickets go on sale Sunday, Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. and are sold online through YANA’s online ticket store. Tickets are $75 each. Last year tickets sold out in five minutes so mark your calendars and set your alarm clocks.

~ Comox Valley Record

Tickets for 2017 Big Love Benefit available soon

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Be part of the big love surrounding Comox Valley children and their families by attending the 2017 Big Love Benefit on February 24th. Tickets to our annual dinner and auction will be available Sunday, January 22 at 10am and can only be purchased through YANA’s online ticket store.  Tickets are $75 each. Guests are grouped into tables of 8. You can purchase up to 8 tickets and you will be seated together. YANA will organize seating for individuals or smaller groups. Tickets sell extremely fast. We hope you can join us!  More information here.

YANA Christmas crackers sold out at all locations

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YANA Christmas crackers are sold out at all locations. The sparkly grand prize donated by Mark the Gold Guy has yet to be claimed so keep your eyes peeled for a special red coupon when you are cracking these festive delights open. We look forward to hearing from the lucky winner. Thank you for supporting this heart-felt Comox Valley tradition!

Driftwood Mall Hosts Christmas Tree Auction for YANA

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From now until December 3rd, Driftwood Mall invites the public to a silent auction featuring over 25 uniquely themed Christmas trees with proceeds benefitting YANA Comox Valley.
For 16 years the Driftwood Mall has been supporting YANA with this annual event. Local businesses, families, and individuals sponsor trees which are displayed in the mall concourse for two weeks. Bidding ends on Saturday, Dec.3rd at 8:00pm. 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 a pregnant mother.
“I’ve always wanted a white tree,” says Isadora Debortolli who purchased her dream tree last year at the auction. “I knew I had to win it, so the bidding was quite exciting!”
MacKenzie Gartside and Associates, who donated that white tree, have been participating for several years.
“We love YANA,” says Gartside. “Decorating the tree and picking out the gifts to go underneath is such a fun tradition for our office. Supporting YANA makes that tradition a special part of our year.”
The Comox Valley Airport tree, “The Gift of Flight”, is a travel themed tree cvac-gift-of-flight-2016featuring two tickets anywhere West Jet flies, two Pacific Coastal Airlines flights, and gifts from Central Mountain Air, Mid Island Gifts, On The Fly Café and Budget Car Rental, a very popular tree among bidders. Driftwood Mall businesses London Drugs and Quality Foods are also decorating trees this year along with new addition to the mall, Canadian Tire.
Among the annual favourites are trees by Kingfisher Resort and Spa featuring a spa retreat, Home Depot who the colour orange to create its seasonal tree, which this year features a deluxe summer package. You will find regular participants Boston Pizza and Bisque Restaurant, as well as many, many more.
Stop by with your family and check out this year’s trees. Kids will love seeing what is underneath each one.
“I will definitely be bidding again this year and am hoping to be able to donate a decorated tree to a family that may need one,” finishes Bertolli. “I’m really inspired by everyone who decorates and donates these trees, I just want to be a part of this generosity!”
Viewing and bidding starts Saturday, November 19th and goes until Saturday, December 3rd at 8pm. Winners take home their amazing trees on Sunday, December 4th.
Driftwood Mall, 2751 Cliffe Avenue

~ Comox Valley Record

YANA Christmas Crackers On Sale Now

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YANA Comox Valley’s annual Christmas cracker fundraising sale will start Thursday, November 17.
Earlier in October volunteers began making the 5,000 crackers needed for YANA’s (You Are Not Alone) annual Christmas cracker sale which has become a popular Comox Valley tradition.
“It was great being able to work out of our new space this year,” says YANA Board Director and Campaign Coordinator, Lesley Hunter. “We’re so grateful for the regular volunteers that come every year and we are happy to meet new ones, it’s such a fun group to work with.”
These hand crafted beauties will go on sale at various locations in November. Each one is filled with neat holiday prizes, 50 crackers have special prizes, including one with a grand prize.
The grand prize is a diamond ring donated by Mark the Gold Guy from cracker-prize-2016Comox Valley Pawnbrokers and appraised by Tim Haley from Simply Timeless at a value of $4,400.
Last year YANA was able to support 141 local families through their funding and accommodation program, assisting with over 300 medical trips for children or pregnant mothers who require medical care outside the Comox Valley.
Crackers go on sale Thursday, November 17 for $3 each and can be purchased at the following locations:
– Driftwood Mall Christmas Tree Display, Cliffe Ave., Courtenay (Nov 17-Dec 3) 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
– MNP, 467 Cumberland Road, Courtenay SOLD OUT
– Coastal Community Credit Union (all branches) SOLD OUT
– Harbourview Dental, Comox Ave., Comox SOLD OUT
– Comox Recreation Centre, Noel Ave., Comox SOLD OUT
– 40 Knots Winery, Anderton Rd., Comox SOLD OUT
– Vancouver Island Visitors Centre, Comox Valley Pkwy SOLD OUT
– Seeds Market, Dunsmuir at 3rd Street, Cumberland SOLD OUT
– First Credit Union, Dunsmuir Rd., Cumberland SOLD OUT
– Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire at the Florence Filberg Centre Nov 11-13
– Christmas at the Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park Craft Fair Nov 26-27

~ Comox Valley Record

Annual reports posted online

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Interested in learning more about YANA and reflect back on our year?  Our annual reports are available here.


Sweet Santa Fe plays 1st Tuesday Fundraiser for YANA

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1st-tuesday-fundraiserEnjoy the sounds of Sweet Santa Fe, featured guests of the 1st Tuesday Fundraiser on Nov. 1 at the Mex Pub.

Raising money for the local charity You Are Not Alone, the concert is by donation and features the blended talents of Michel Rivero and Christine Baxter, a delightful new duo on the Comox Valley music scene.

Rivero and Baxter met and fell in love under the Cuban sun, and soon after began writing using music that drew on their Cuban and Canadian influences. They blend interesting melody lines and beautiful harmonies, Spanish guitar and Cuban rhythms. Baxter started singing as a part of her family quartet at the age of five. Over the years she has performed as a back-up singer and as a solo artist, and now continues to enjoy performing with her husband Michel. She also enjoys singing with choirs and travelling to learn different musical cultures.

As a new resident to Canada, Rivero is looking forward to sharing his Cuban roots and music. He is a well-established performer in Cuba, and has played with a wide range of Cuban musicians. As a guitar and percussion instructor, Rivero loves sharing his passion for music, and will continue teaching and performing in his new home in Comox.

Each month, the concert series pairs performers with their favourite charities, and this month, Sweet Santa Fe has selected YANA to receive the proceeds. YANA was founded in 1986 and ensures that families in the Comox Valley are not alone when dealing with medical issues for their children and believes that when a child is ill the whole family requires care. YANA provides financial support so families can stay focused on the health and wellness of their child.

The organization maintains four apartments in Vancouver that provide accommodation within walking distance of Children’s Hospital and also helps families to fund accommodations in other treatment destinations. It also provides a daily, weekly or monthly allotment of funds that help to cover the costs of travel, meals, and other expenses. St. Joseph’s Hospital also receives funds from YANA to assist Comox Valley families or an expecting mother who requires emergency transfer to another hospital. For more information about YANA services visit the website at

The evening at the Mex Pub begins at 7:30, with an opening set by organizers Judy and Bruce Wing, accompanied by special guests Blaine Dunaway on the violin and Steve Ruskin on keyboard. A few collaborative numbers with all the musicians will also be part of the evening entertainment.

For more information about 1st Tuesday events, visit

~ Comox Valley Record

Going crackers over crackers!

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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!


Get crafty with us!

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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!



Kids’ Clutter Sale October 16 at Courtenay Elementary School

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A glimpse at the goods!  Come see for yourself and get some great deals. Sunday, October 16 from 10am – 2pm at Courtenay Elementary School.