2019 gala attendees watching the moving photo presentation of a very special YANA family. Photo by Ali Roddam.

2019 gala attendees watching the moving photo presentation of a very special YANA family. Photo by Ali Roddam.

YANA celebrating its 30th annual Big Love Benefit Feb. 28

“The extra touches that the committee has added this year are going to knock some socks off.”

  • Jan. 17, 2020 6:00 a.m.

YANA is set to host the 2020 Big Love Benefit, an annual gala dinner and auction in support of local children and families.

It all started with YANA’s founder Sandra Williams’ brilliant idea of writing to celebrities for signed donations and auctioning them off.

Thirty years later, the gala event has become the hottest ticket in town that now raises in excess of $100,000 for YANA’s accommodation and family funding programs.

Tickets for the event are available online only through www.yanacomoxvalley.com on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m.

“The 2019 event sold out in less than a minute, so we’re encouraging people to set their alarms and keep their clicking and typing fingers warmed up and ready,” said You Are Not Alone executive director Kelly Barnie.

Event attendees will fill the Florence Filberg Centre on Feb. 28, and will be treated to a magical night.

The highlights of the evening include a mouth-watering dinner by Tria Fine Catering, a touching photo slide show presentation showcasing a courageous YANA family through the eyes and lens of the multi-talented Karen McKinnon, and a rousing live auction led by the legendary Dave Stevens.

Veteran YANA volunteer, current board member, and lead auction volunteer Brenda Hunt hints that a few other surprises are in store for the 2020 event as well.

“The extra touches that the committee has added this year are going to knock some socks off,” said Hunt.

The gala night is the signature event of the Big Love Benefit fundraiser, but it’s only one of the ways that supporters in the Comox Valley and beyond can show their love for local families.

“We helped families with almost 600 medical trips last year, the majority requiring overnight stays,” noted Barnie. “The rising costs and limited availability of accommodations put even more pressure on our resources than ever before. We’re counting on support for our Big Love online auction and our WestJet raffle to make sure we can meet the needs of our families.”

The online auction kicks off Jan. 19 and features artwork, one-of-a-kind collectibles and valuable gift certificates.

“There are even four pairs of tickets for the gala night up for grabs on the online auction,” noted Hunt. “The online auction closes on Feb. 6 at 9 p.m., so bid early, bid often and bid big.”

YANA volunteers will also be selling raffle tickets for a WestJet “Gift of Flight” starting Feb. 6.

The winning ticket holder will receive one roundtrip flight for two guests to any regularly scheduled WestJet destination. Tickets are $20 each and chances of winning are excellent with only 750 tickets printed.

YANA’s purpose is to improve access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation for any Comox Valley family 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.

Buy gala tickets, bid on the Big Love Online Auction and order WestJet Raffle tickets at www.yanacomoxvalley.com. For more information, and to donate or volunteer, email events@yanacomoxvalley.com or call 250-871-0343.

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