General News

YANA 2015 AGM

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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!

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

Natasha Sam creates outreach video for YANA

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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

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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 yanacomoxvalley.com or call YANA at 250-871-0343.

A beautiful day for a ride

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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!

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Patti Fletcher and Simon Brampton from Simon’s Cycles

Registration is closed for Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride

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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.

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Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride almost at capacity

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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.

Stella and Anela bring music to YANA Ride

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This year’s Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride is building up to be the best ever. On August 16th Anela Kahiamoe will bring his pure Hawaiian sounds to Marina Park from 12:15pm. Stella Swanson and her Family Band will perform music from Stella’s debut album, “I’m Not A Bunny” from 1pm.

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After their set Stella and Sophie Swanson will support the day’s youngest riders and officially start the run bike race.

There is still time to register or make a donation to the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride. For more information, click here.

Photo: left to right: Simon’s Cycles Co-Owner: Patti Fletcher, Stella Swanson, Karen Pantuso Swanson, Sophie Swanson, Anela Kahiamoe, YANA Executive Director: Marcie Dumais

Photo Credit: Kelly Rusk

YANA Ride brings together cyclists of all ages

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Seven-year-old Sophie Clark will ride 25km on August 16th to raise funds for YANA.

What started out as a way to help save the polar bears has turned into a love for riding bikes and now, a way to raise money for a charity that Sophie loves.

“I’m really proud of Sophie, and what she is doing,” says her dad, Aaron, “Sophie really loves bike riding, I remember trying to pick her up from school one very rainy day this year, she refused to get in the car, in the end she rode home with some friends. She really enjoys riding her bike, and we’re a biking family so we think it’s just great.”

The Comox Valley gets on their bikes for YANA, from left to right: volunteer, Jill Grant, 25km riders Aaron and Sophie Clark, sponsor and 100km rider Dr. Andreas Conradi.

The Comox Valley gets on their bikes for YANA, from left to right: volunteer, Jill Grant, 25km riders Aaron and Sophie Clark, sponsor and 100km rider Dr. Andreas Conradi.

Sophie explains she started riding when she learned about global warming, “I like polar bears but the ice is melting so where will they live? It’s because of gas and how we use energy, but bikes don’t use gas.”

Seven-year-old Clark says she registered because she “wanted to try something hard and I also love YANA. I like riding my bike because you get exercise and it’s really fun.” Sophie has been practicing for the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride all year, “I just did a 24km bike ride with my family in Vancouver, I rode my bike to school all year, and I might try the Saturday training ride with the YANA group. I’ve also been trying to make it up hills.”

Last year Sophie rode the family ride for the second time and raised over $800 for YANA. On August 16th she will ride her longest ride yet, the 25km route. Anyone wanting to pledge Sophie can donate by visiting the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride registration site via: www.yanacomoxvalley.com

YANA’s Executive Director, Marcie Dumais, is overwhelmed by the community support, “I love this community. It never ceases to amaze me how we work together to support our own. People of all ages get behind our ride in so many ways, we have our partners at Simon’s Cycles, participants, sponsors and volunteers all coming together to create one incredible event,” Dumais has many examples to share.

Sponsors cover all costs and expenses ensuring that all registration and pledges go directly to helping Comox Valley families. Dr. Andreas Conradi shows his community spirit as the ride’s premier sponsor, “Twenty years ago, my first-born was on life support and YANA supported our family. Having experienced that, I know first-hand what it means to have your community’s support.” Now he and his team give back in as many ways as they can. This year they chose to provide t-shirts to nearly 500 participants and volunteers, “We really wanted to provide people a permanent reminder of the great thing they are doing when they choose to participate in this ride for YANA. I hope it will remind them of the unity of the ride, the good feeling we all share on the day and the knowledge that it was all done to help others.”

The YANA Ride is made possible by over 100 volunteers, like tri-athlete, Jill Grant, “When I was asked to volunteer I thought it was a perfect fit because this event is about fun and fitness and I have been involved in so many of these events as an athlete, it’s great to give back because it feels so good.

Many of the cyclists in the YANA Ride are joining us for their first community ride. I just love encouraging them to come and enjoy the day,” says Grant, “I remember at last year’s YANA Ride, I was helping a group who were training hard for the 25km route. Some of them ended up doing the 50km route. And oh man! When they came back across that finish line, they were so happy at what they had achieved, and so was I. That’s what I love, I’m just a natural cheerleader.”

The Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride is a challenging and unique bicycle ride through the beautiful Comox Valley with a variety of routes. Participants will enjoy bike support on all routes, special treats at fueling stations along the way, a delicious BBQ lunch, entertainment, draw prizes, congratulatory medals and discounts at Simon’s Cycles.

With the ride just over 3 weeks away there is still plenty of time for the community to get involved by pledging any of the registered riders, registering to ride or becoming an event sponsor. For more information, click here.

Comox Valley Record

Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride Returns

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YANA recipient, Anna, giving out medals at the finish line of the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride last summer.

YANA recipient, Anna, giving out medals at the finish line of the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride last summer.

When 10-year-old Anna spent significant time away from home receiving treatment for kidney cancer, she was separated from her mom and brothers who visited when they could.

Anna’s dad was with her in Vancouver. Anna’s mother, Hendrika, credits YANA’s financial support and the use of their apartments for keeping the family together.

“A sick child has a huge impact on family-life, the stress, your kid in pain, sick, struggling and sad, it’s a lot of emotion,” said Henricka. “What a blessing to know that the community supports YANA and therefore you. It’s a big help mentally as well as financially.”

That’s precisely why cyclists will be heading to Comox’s Marina Park on August 16.

“I rode because family is everything to me, I would do anything for my own daughter, and I am honoured to help other families in their time of need,” said Shannon Colthorpe, one of last year’s riders. “I felt proud to finish, and be part of such a great local fundraiser. It’s all fun, there’s no pressure to go fast, and the satisfaction of the ride is worth every ache and pain I felt the next day.”

The Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride is a challenging and unique bicycle ride through the beautiful Comox Valley with a variety of routes to enjoy including a 25km, 50km and a new 100km loop. There will also be a 6km family route that allows riders of all ages to cycle together regardless of ability.

For little ones not yet using pedals YANA will be hosting a special run bike race. Participants will enjoy bike support on all routes, special treats at fueling stations along the way, a barbecue lunch, entertainment, draw prizes, congratulatory medals and discounts at Simon’s Cycles.

Participants who register before July 23 will receive a free souvenir t-shirt courtesy of one of the event sponsors. Registrants may also purchase an exclusive cycling jersey and join Simon’s Cycles for pre-event training rides.

For more information click here.

Comox Valley Record

We Really, Really Like This Guy!

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KellyRusk_2014Volunteer firefighter Lt. Kelly Rusk has been serving his community with Comox Fire Rescue for sixteen years, which is reason enough to love him, but we have more!

In 2010 he joined YANA’s Board of Directors and has been a dedicated and tireless volunteer ever since. Kelly is part of the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride committee, he is active in all YANA fundraisers and, like a firefighter, jumps in wherever he is needed. From research to heavy lifting to arial event photography, from the top of a firetruck ladder, we love that we can always count on him.

Lt. Rusk also has an impressive sweet tooth. Luckily he’s very good at sharing and can be relied on to have something confectionary in hand on the frequent occasions he stops by the YANA office. This may be what we love most about him.

Kelly is a consultant with Investors Group and lives in Comox with his lovely wife Robbie and their adorable dog Johnny Rotten.