Tickets for the YANA Big Love Benefit auction go on sale Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. Photo credit: John Bonner courtesy of McKinnon Photography

Tickets for YANA’s 2018 Big Love Benefit go on sale online Sunday

Charity event generally sells out in minutes

On Friday, Feb. 23, guests will fill the Florence Filberg Centre for fun, food, friendship and fundraising at the YANA 2018 Big Love Benefit.

Among the highlights of this popular evening are a live auction led by iconic auctioneer, Dave Stevens, dinner by Tria Fine Catering, a photo presentation by McKinnon Photography, and dancing with Above and Beyond Entertainment.

“The Big Love Benefit is so many things to YANA,” said You Are Not Alone executive director, Marcie Dumais. “It’s a chance to celebrate the support we have provided to families, an opportunity to share our story and to raise funds for the coming year.”

Raising funds has taken on a new urgency as YANA recently experienced its busiest year since its inception in 1986. Thirty-two years ago, founder Sandra Williams achieved her vision of establishing a support organization for families travelling outside the community for the medical care of a child or a pregnant mother. Her hope that no family would ever be alone in these circumstances has been carried by several decades of generosity.

This past year YANA saw significant increases in out-of-town healthcare related to birth and high-risk pregnancy. This need, along with successful outreach, program development and continued support for children experiencing a range of medical challenges, has led to high program expenditures, up 21 per cent year over year with continued increases expected in 2018.

“We see this as positive,” said Ocean Varney, YANA’s community relations co-ordinator. “That we are able to respond to the growing needs of our community by supporting families in such a meaningful way leaves us full of purpose and gratitude.”

Varney acknowledges that these increases create challenges but is confident the challenges will be met by thinking big.

“So how do we continue to meet these needs? To start with we make the Big Love Benefit bigger,” she continues. “We maintain the core event but we add to it by offering an on-line auction that runs for the two weeks leading up to Big Love.”

Dumais adds, “We have amazing donors and supporters and we’re excited to have the opportunity to reach out to our whole community and to expand on what is already an event so filled with love for YANA families.”

YANA’s purpose is to improve access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation to Comox Valley families with a child or a pregnant mother needing medical care away from home. YANA maintains four furnished apartments near BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and also provides accommodation in Victoria, Nanaimo, and in other treatment locations.

There are many ways to get involved in the YANA Big Love Benefit. You can donate an auction item, sponsor the event, or participate in the new online auction. For more information on all these opportunities, visit yanacomoxvalley.com, email events@yanacomoxvalley.com or call 250-871-0343.

Interested in attending the Big Love Benefit? Tickets go on sale Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. and are sold online through yanacomoxvalley.com. Tickets sell extremely fast. Mark your calendars, set your alarms and join YANA for this upcoming event.

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