General News

Merry Christmas

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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.


Save The Date

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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.

Auction 2015

Deck the Halls of Driftwood Mall!

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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.

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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”

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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.”

Driftwood Mall Christmas 2015 003With 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.

Bringing the Bling to YANA

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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

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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!

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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

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


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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!


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 or call YANA at 250-871-0343.