Comox Valley realtors use calendar to raise $14,000 for popular charity
Thanks to 12 caring Comox Valley realtors, 2011 is going to be a very good year indeed for You Are Not Alone (YANA).
The dozen real estate professionals collaborated on an eye-catching fundraiser, the YANA Calendar Girls, which raised $14,000 for the local charity.
YANA provides support to families whose children must receive medical treatment outside the Comox Valley.
The calendar girls gathered Tuesday at the YANA office in Courtenay to present the cheque to YANA executive director Anita Brassard.
"We're exceptionally grateful to Harmony Dyck and all the hard work that she put into organizing the event, and of course to the other 11 beautiful women who donated their time and money to participate," Brassard said. "All of that money goes directly to funding families here in the Valley."
YANA rents four fully furnished apartments in Vancouver, and Brassard says the majority of the money YANA raises pays for those apartments and the expenses related to them (such as utilities).
"We also provide additional funding money for families to help with gas, parking, cellphone bills and food ... that add up really quickly when you're trying to run two households long-term," Brassard added.
Calendar organizer Dyck notes the participants in the project are competing realtors from three different real estate offices — Coast Realty Group, Re/Max and Royal LePage.
"Each realtor donated $500 of their own money to support the calendar so that 100 per cent of the proceeds could go to YANA. We also thank Re/Max for their generous $2,000 donation," Dyck said.
“Each woman came up with her outfit and props and worked hard to bring her best to the shoot, in attitude and physically getting into the best shape of some of our lives," Dyck said.
“I commend each lady for sticking with the project when times got tough, and working through her fears and insecurities to create a great calendar for a worthy local charity. We shot the photos through every weather condition imaginable, from hail to snow to rain, and these ladies braved it all and powered through like true professionals.”
Posing for the calendar – in order from January to December – were Ronni Lister (Re/Max), Phillipa Berg (Royal LePage), Tracy Hopkins (Coast Realty), Cindy Armstrong (Re/Max), Jill Davies (Re/Max), Colette Valdock (Re/Max), Melissa Berrigan (Coast Realty), Courtnay Verbrugge (Royal LePage), Kristin Sinclare (Royal LePage), Anna Jorgensen (Coast Realty), Val Wright (Royal LePage) and Dyck (Royal LePage).
"I am so impressed with the ladies and what each picture represents," said Dyck. “Strong, beautiful, successful women in business from the Comox Valley, representing different eras in time from the early 1900s to the future.”
Karen McKinnon of McKinnon Photography captured each month’s model posed with a different mode of transportation – from horse to motorcycle to classic car.
“I have been fortunate to have the amazing help from all the sponsors and can’t thank them enough for donating 100 per cent of their time," Dyck said.
Along with McKinnon, Dyck acknowledged the contributions of Roots Hair Design, Flawless Beauty Bar, Surgenor Brewery, Better Mousetrap, and those who supplied the props for each month’s model.
Dyck said 2,000 calendars were printed and Brassard notes a handful of them are still available at the YANA office at 495 Fitzgerald Ave. (entrance at the side of the Ives Burger building) in downtown Courtenay. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and people are welcome to drop by and purchase what Brassard said is a unique fundraiser for the charity.
For more information on YANA, visit www.yanacomoxvalley.com.