The REACH Annual Meeting is an opportunity for volunteers, activists, donors, survivors, community leaders and service providers to come together to share the successes and challenges of reaching beyond domestic violence. On May 23, about 100 friends of REACH joined staff and Board members at the Massachusetts Medical Society for this year’s meeting. Upon arrival, guests were invited to select a bookmark made from paint swatches that would be used during the program; an example of how art can be created from anything, by anyone. Later in the evening, the audience added a word or image to the bookmark, thus creating their own work of art.
Before the program got underway, a light dinner was generously provided by the Massachusetts Medical Society and distinctive plates designed by the 2018 Star Artists were on display (some of the artists have been contributing plates since the first gala in 2004!). These plates will be available for auction at our 2018 Reach for the Stars Gala.
During this time, two art activities offered attendees the opportunity to both better understand and also experience how art can help heal and motivate us in the work to prevent and end domestic violence. Child and Adolescent Therapist Catalina Folch invited attendees to select a word or image that was meaningful to them and decorate a river stone to take home. Catalina uses art therapy to help kids build coping skills, manage stress, and foster self-expression.
Youth Education Specialist Molly Pistrang asked attendees to think about boundaries in their relationships and, if so inclined, create art that represented their thoughts. This is an activity Molly uses in her work with youth in several high schools and middle schools.
The program for the evening included Executive Director Laura Van Zandt’s update on the organization. In addition to the wonderful new office, REACH is finalizing a new strategic plan for the next 3 years. A highpoint of the evening was the presentation of the 2018 Voice for Justice Awards honoring two amazing volunteers. Kevin Dunckel provides consistent help with moving furniture, gifts, plates, food, supplies and more. Kevin was grateful and took a moment to acknowledge the staff at REACH as the ones who do the “really heavy lifting” – every day. Kevin also serves on the Board of Directors and the Gala Committee. Pat Mattina helped launch the special aspect of our annual gala – the spectacular plates designed by artists. An artist herself, she not only lends support to experienced plate artists and to survivors creating plates for the first time, she also serves on the REACH Advisory Board and Gala Committee. Pat’s quiet joy in receiving the award belies her passion for this work. REACH Board Chair Stephen Langlois closed the meeting with gratitude and an invitation to get involved. The REACH Board is interested in increasing the number and diversity of the voices at the table in order to continue this important work.
To discover opportunities for getting involved with REACH, please visit the Get Involved section of our website.