Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

The folks at Courtenay Nissan are burning a few calories — and consuming a few too — to raise funds for YANA.

You Are Not Alone (YANA) is a charity that raises money for Comox Valley families with children under 19 or an expecting mom needing to travel for medical treatment.

Over the March 5-7 weekend, Nissan’s Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur laced up their running shoes to run four miles every four hours as a fun way to generate attention and dollars for the cause. Their fundraiser was inspired by ultra-runner and fitness guru David Goggins’s 4x4x48 event in which people run four miles every four hours for 48 hours.

“We raised $1,551 throughout the 4x4x4,” said Piper. “Funnily enough we also misread the 4x4x48 challenge and Sean and I ran a bonus lap. Figured that you started with a run at 8 p.m. Friday and finished with a run at 8 p.m. Sunday for a total of 13. We learned after the fact that the challenge is set up as a total of 12 runs. Fortunately, four miles is nothing when you’ve already knocked out 48.”

At the other end of the calorie count, sales manager Matthew Bourassa faced the task of eating four donuts every four hours while his colleagues ran their routes.

RELATED STORY: Courtenay Nissan hosting YANA fundraiser video

“OK, guys, burn some calories for me,” he told them in mid-munch.

The dealership team realized that non-profit groups like YANA have had to look for different ways to raise money during the COVID pandemic, and they wanted to help out.

“It’s not like the need stops,” Piper said.

They donated $50 from every car sold last month and were using this weekend’s event to boost the donations even higher.

“We’ll cap it off with this run to raise the extra dollars,” LaFleur said.

During February, Courtenay Nissan raised $2,650 from sales and with the $1,551 raised by Piper and LaFleur, the company brought in a total of $4,201 for the local non-profit.

For the run, the dealership welcomed YANA representatives Kelly Rusk, Lisa Wilcox and Ashley Smith, with social distancing in place, to help celebrate the campaign. As president of the board, Rusk said the group has been affected this past year because third-party fundraisers have faced obstacles from the pandemic.

“Third-party donations that come from the community make up a huge part of our annual fundraising,” he said. “We really count on community businesses.”

RELATED STORY: 2020 Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride supports the charity and local businesses

YANA is in the planning stages for its summer bike fundraiser, though with restrictions still in place, they will be planning for an event similar to this past year’s at which people could run when they wanted to during August, though the group is looking forward to the day when it can see supporters in person again.

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Nissan’s Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur start their run. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Nissan’s Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur start their run. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Matt Bourassa enjoys a donut, one of many. Photo by MIke Chouinard

Matt Bourassa enjoys a donut, one of many. Photo by MIke Chouinard

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