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COVID restrictions force changes to YANA Big Love Benefit

Ongoing provincially-imposed COVID-19 restrictions have forced a late change in YANA’s largest annual fundraising promotion.
The 2021 YANA Big Love Benefit will be a live-streamed event, including an online auction. Photo by McKinnon Photography

Ongoing provincially-imposed COVID-19 restrictions have forced a late change in YANA’s largest annual fundraising promotion.

The 2021 Big Love Benefit will be a virtual event this year, with streaming of the Big Love Live broadcast available on Feb. 26. Organizers had planned to include a restaurant component, where ticketholders could view the live broadcast while enjoying dinner with their bubble of six, but due to the extension. of public gathering restrictions, this component of the event is no longer an option.

“As you can imagine, with the recent extension of the Provincial Health Orders, no specific reconsideration date given, and less than three weeks to the Feb. 26 broadcast, our committee was faced with a tough decision,” said YANA executive director, Kelly Barnie. “Island Health has spent significant time listening with open minds and hearts to our innovative method of supporting local restaurants as viewing locations for a virtual broadcast. Without previous precedent or other models to use as templates, although things were continuing in the right direction, we’ve simply run out of time.

“With the resources and time remaining, we’ve decided to remove the restaurant venues from our ticketing options and convert previously purchased venue tables to gourmet home parties for up to six core-bubble (immediate household) attendees.”

There are still great options for everyone who wants to participate in the Big Love Benefit.

Link by Donation: When you visit the YANA Tickit Store (, you will see the “Live Broadcast & Auction Link” by donation. Every dollar donated is matched by Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC up to $15,000. The live broadcast is on Feb. 26. Bidding at the online auction begins Feb. 16, and closes during the live broadcast.

Ticket holders will be emailed links to both the online auction and the live broadcast.

Home Parties: A limited number of “Hosted Home Party for Six” have been added to the same event page. To host a home party, you and those in your core bubble (immediate household) would view the live-stream broadcast on a smart TV or laptop, etc. and bid on the auction items from each person’s personal hand-held device. Home parties are $750 and include a gourmet antipasto/charcuterie board, delicate desserts, bubbly to toast, and the ingredients for the ‘Signature Cocktail.’ (Please contact YANA if an alternate menu option is required.)

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity and flexibility of all those that have purchased restaurant venue tables,” said Barnie. “We will be reaching out in the days ahead to provide the details on the alternative options available to you.” \

To support YANA by participating in the Big Love Benefit, for tickets and more information.

YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a community organization offering help to Comox Valley families who need to travel for medical treatment for a child or for a pregnant mother.