The Comox Valley is getting ready to ride for YANA, and You Are Not Alone executive director Marcie Dumais couldn’t be happier.
The fourth annual Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride goes Sunday, Aug. 21 at Marina Park in Comox and Dumais, an avid cyclist herself, says all indications point to another fun and successful fundraiser.
“We have incredible sponsorship. Our goal this year … was to try and ensure that sponsors cover all event expenses, so that all the ride participation and any fundraising that’s done by cyclists goes directly to our program.”
Dumais grew up in Oliver, B.C. and lived there until going to the University of Victoria. “I fell in love with the Island,” she says.
“I trained as a teacher and taught in the Comox Valley for a few years. I went to do my masters (in resource management) at SFU then through odd circumstances ended up back in the Valley. My husband is from here…what a great place to raise our family…so we’ve been here since 2004.”
She became involved with YANA seven years ago when attending the auction at the group’s gala event. “I was so impressed with the cause and all the volunteers,” she says. “The ability to make a difference in your community, that’s what continues to drive what I do today.”
She joined YANA’s board of directors in 2011 then stepped up to become executive director in 2013 when Anita Brassard took a job with another foundation.
When she’s not guiding YANA, Dumais loves photography, cycling and “just being active in general - ‘fitness lite,’” she laughed.
Family is also important. “We spend a lot of time on west coast, Tofino. That’s something close to my heart. My husband surfs, I tend to boogie board with the kids. They’re a big focus of my life right now because they’re little.”
Dumais describes herself as a facilitator of fun. “I love games. Recently we had a board social and I was in charge of games. We had the board dressing up and eating chocolates with crazy big oven mitts on.”
Dumais’ efforts are certainly appreciated by YANA president Judy Cryer. “We’re so lucky to have her. She’s amazing. She goes way above and beyond.”
YANA supports families who must travel to receive medical attention, and the annual bike ride is one of their biggest events. More on Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride and the amazing work the organization does is at www.yanacomoxvalley.com