The 2022 YANA Big Love Benefit will take on a fully-virtual format again this year in support of Comox Valley families. (Photo supplied)

The 2022 YANA Big Love Benefit will take on a fully-virtual format again this year in support of Comox Valley families. (Photo supplied)

COVID restrictions extension forces YANA to return to virtual format for Big Love Benefit

The 2022 YANA Big Love Benefit will take on a fully-virtual format again this year in support of Comox Valley families. The organization had initially hoped and planned for an in-person gathering, but with the most current health orders extending through to Feb. 16, just nine days before the event, organizers had no choice but to pivot the fundraiser to take place online.

“It was always our contingency plan to move to a virtual, live-streamed event if it was deemed necessary, but we remained hopeful right to the very end,” said Kelly Barnie, YANA (You Are Not Alone) executive director. “While we’re incredibly disappointed to not be gathering in person for the second year in a row, we have absolute faith in our community that they will show up again as they always do.”

Last year was YANA’s biggest ever fundraiser, bringing in a record-breaking $175,000, all of which went directly back into YANA’s funding and accommodation programs.

YANA’s services are available to any family within the Comox Valley who has a child under 19, or a pregnant mother, who is required to travel for medical care outside of the community. Over the last five years, YANA has supported an average of almost 400 families with 150 medical trips each year. With skyrocketing accommodation costs fueled by pent-up demand, low inventory, and hotels and BnBs in recovery mode, YANA is calling on the community to join in this year’s Big Love fundraiser, however they can, to continue this legacy of support for years to come.

One of the benefits of a virtual event is that it’s incredibly easy for anyone to show their support and join in the night. Ticket purchases will be by donation of any amount, and a tax receipt will be provided for 100 per cent of the contribution. Your ticket gives you access to both the online auction, as well as the live-stream broadcast for an experience that’s as close to being in the room as you can get.

The event will kick-off with an interactive, virtual cocktail hour, followed by a moving presentation by photographer Karen McKinnon featuring one of YANA’s courageous families, 50/50 and WestJet Flight ticket draws, and the famous live auction led by auctioneer Dave Stevens, featuring some incredible items and packages to bid on.

Every single dollar donated for tickets sold will be matched up to $15,000, thanks to our incredibly generous sponsor, Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC, who is helping every contribution go even further this year.

Ticket holders gain exclusive access to the online auction, open Feb. 15-25. Bid on thousands of dollars of donated items, from lavish gift baskets featuring local products to destination packages to art, jewelry, and gift certificates. Attendees can also purchase deliciously curated food and beverage packages offered by YANA’s Big Love Select Vendors. No matter how you or where you choose to join in, you’re sure to experience an evening filled with all of the true community spirit and great Big Love that this event is known for each year.

“We can’t thank this community enough for being here for it through it all. This has been a challenging couple of years for all of us and thanks to the generosity and embrace of so many, we’ve continued to be able to say yes to families when it’s needed most,” said Kelly Barnie.

“We are so grateful to every volunteer, business, sponsor, and those who have already purchased tickets for getting behind this event. While there is so much that could knock our spirits down, this community keeps on picking them back up, making sure that families are supported along the way. That is Big Love.”

For more information about YANA or to purchase tickets and participate in this years event visit www.yanacomoxvalley.com

Comox ValleyYANA