On Saturday, October 26, 2019, we will hold our 16th Annual Reach for the Stars Gala at the Boston Park Plaza. The Gala brings together people who care; colleagues, neighbors, and friends who are committed to making a difference and reaching beyond domestic violence.
This event could not happen without the help of our wonderful Gala committee and we are delighted to introduce this year’s Reach for the Stars Gala co-chairs, April Levitt and Ann Mello. We are honored to have their positive energy and professional strengths leading the Gala committee. Read on to get to know them a little better.
I grew up in Natick, MA and moved to Wellesley, MA in 2001, when my husband Steven and I purchased a home in Wellesley Hills. After a career in marketing, I chose to resign and stay home with my daughter Sydney (who is now 13) and volunteer my time within my own community. Steven is currently a dentist in Newton Centre, MA where he has practiced for the last 20 years. Before that he practiced in Brookline, MA for 10 years.
I first learned about REACH through their Executive Director, Laura Van Zandt, and through a friend and neighbor who invited us to attend the Gala several years ago. That year, and each year I attended after that, I could feel the passion and energy at the event which made me feel like I wanted to be a bigger part of it. Co-chairing the 2018 Gala last year, and again this year for the 2019 Gala, has made me feel like a real part of the fabric of hope that makes an actual difference in the lives of people who desperately need that hope. It has been an honor to work with such a wonderful group of caring and compassionate people all striving toward the same goal at REACH.
I was born in Lowell, MA and moved to NH when I was 11. My parents were divorced shortly after my birth and my mom remarried when I was 7. I met my husband while working in Boston and relocated to North Attleboro, MA after getting married in 2002. My husband, Glen, and I have two daughters ages 13 and 11. Glen continues to work in the Boston area in the banking industry and I now work in healthcare sales.
I was introduced to REACH at last year’s event through my good friend (and fellow co-chair) April Levitt. I honestly went to the event thinking it would be a fun night out. I never imagined the impact that night would have on me. I was amazed by stories about how REACH was helping all these families access the resources they needed. I personally have witnessed people very close to me experience domestic violence and know how hard it is, emotionally and financially, for those families to unravel themselves from those situations. I used to be one to say “why don’t they just leave?” and “that would never happen to me.” Well, I know now that it’s not that easy and support is needed no matter what your demographic or financial situation is.
I am honored to be co-chair of the 2019 Gala. I am even more honored to help raise awareness and funds for a topic that many find difficult to talk about. This event and everything that REACH does have such an impact on so many people and the communities they serve. They provide hope and courage to those who need it most.