A volunteer guides riders to the finish line at the end of the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride, Sunday. Aug. 20. Photo by Terry Farrell

YANA Ride 2017 far exceeds fundraising expectations

More than $62,000 will go to support YANA programs.

The 2017 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride far exceeded fundraising expectations, raising more than $62,000 for the You Are Not Alone non-profit society.

The pledge site will remain open until Aug. 31, however, meaning there is still time for the final tally to increase.

YANA executive director Marcie Dumais said the Aug. 20 ride went far beyond the organization’s fundraising goal of $50,000.

“We’re just thrilled. It far exceeded our expectations and it’s just a testament to everybody that got involved,” she said.

Nearly 1,000 people were involved with the fundraiser this year, including 593 cyclists and their supporters, 49 different sponsors and around 150 volunteers.

Cycling routes included a 25 kilometre, 50 kilometre or 100 kilometre ride throughout the Comox Valley. There was also a 6 kilometre family loop that allowed riders of all ages to cycle together. Routes started and stopped at the Marina Park, in Comox.

YANA is a community organization thats offers travel and accommodation funding to Comox Valley families who need to travel for medical reasons. Money raised from the annual fundraiser goes to support its programs.

“Obviously the fundraising is critical to support our programs, but it’s also a really beautiful way to get a collective in the community doing something they love — which is cycling — [and turning it] into something that is really valuable and important for the community,” said Dumais.

“It’s this collective energy of people who love to get on their bikes and turning it into something really important for local families when they need it the most.”

The cycling fundraiser is one of two annual fundraisers for YANA. The other is the organization’s annual winter gala, called the Big Love Benefit.

YANA was formed in 1986. The first YANA Ride was in 2007. In 2013, YANA formed a partnership with Simon’s Cycles and 2017 marked the fifth annual Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride.

To donate before the pledge site closes on Aug. 31, visit http://bit.ly/2xgfshx