On Saturday, October 17th, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence held its 17th Annual Reach for the Stars Gala. For the first time ever, the gala was held virtually over Zoom. More than 300 guests joined us from the comfort of their own homes. The evening featured an exciting silent auction, messages from our special guests – U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Representative Katherine Clark, and bestselling author and host of “Tell Me More” on PBS, Kelly Corrigan – an inspiring Q&A session with some of our PAVE Peer Leaders which was moderated by our incredible emcee, Robin Young, from WBUR radio, and a riveting special appeal.
Check out the full recording of the event here and access the evening’s program book here.
Young introduced REACH Executive Director, Laura Van Zandt, who offered thoughts on how we all play a role in shining a light on domestic violence. She said:
“Reaching beyond domestic violence is not only about individual safety, stability and support. Reaching beyond is about moving our society beyond the violence that is trying to define it. We say together we will reach beyond domestic violence because this is work that has to happen at all levels and in all pockets of our communities. We reach out to providers, professionals, schools, neighbors because we are all in this together and to create the change that we so desire, we all need to be part of that change. It starts with us. It starts with words, with attitudes, with everyday practice. It starts with you. Let’s take control of what feels out of control. Let’s start with ourselves, our partners, our friends, our families.”
Attendees also heard from several survivors throughout the program. One survivor said:
“Being connected to REACH has meant having a combination lifeline and anchor. It has meant having a friendly and knowledgeable voice to turn to when I felt shattered and upset. It has meant having a calm and reassuring face gazing at me and telling me that it would be ok. Arriving at the doors of REACH, I have always felt welcomed here and felt that I was stepping into a safe and calm space – a place where I could breathe. The support group became a kind of sanctuary where I could take a break from the stresses and busyness of life and reflect, learn, share, think. We came from all backgrounds and all walks of life. In the real world, we would never have met or if our paths crossed, we would have continued on our way past each other. In our support group, we found common ground and friendship.”
The evening raised $350,000 to support the vital programs and services that REACH provides. We are grateful for the support from sponsors, auction donors, event guests, and our event committee who stood by our side this year despite the challenges we are all facing daily. We truly could not have done this without your generosity.