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Reach for the Stars Gala a Tremendous Success
Our 11th annual Reach for the Stars Gala was held on Saturday night at The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. The room was filled with 400 guests and raised more than $420,000. We found great comfort that evening in knowing we were among family, friends, long-time advocates and new supporters - all committed to building healthy communities by ending domestic violence.
Laura R. Van Zandt (center) with co-chairs Stephen Langlois & Sally Marrer and Mary Ann & Peter Mattoon
We were thrilled to have Susan Wornick as our emcee, and Robin Starr as our auctioneer. We heard from REACH Executive Director, Laura R. Van Zandt:
"Over the years, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people on this night. Over the past ten years, this event has helped REACH grow into the leading resource it is today. It was ten years ago that I joined the REACH staff. So much has changed. And that is why we do this work. CHANGE... Please know that the success we all share tonight helps us do our work every day, all year long. We need you to stay with us, reach with us, because together we will reach beyond domestic violence."
Patty, a survivor working with REACH, shared her journey out of abuse with the crowd:
"I started going to support groups, and I started to talk to my advocate about wanting to leave the relationship. Together we made a plan for me to leave safely. On November 2, 2009 I left for good. I walked away from everything I owned at the age of 49, and I walked to the REACH office.
"At the shelter, every day I would sit in the living room, in this place far away from home, and stare at the door because of course it would be easier just to go back - back to my home, to the community I had lived in for the past 20 years. But I stayed in that shelter, and with the support of REACH, my journey began.
"What I want to leave you with today is that there is help, and there is hope. If you see something, say something, you just may save a life. My journey began on November 2, 2009 and still continues today. I live my life the way I want to, not the way someone else wants me to because my past does not define me."
Your support - as sponsors, in-kind donors, members of the Event Committee, Board of Directors, and guests - makes it possible for Patty and others to access critical, life-saving services at no cost. We thank all of our supporters for standing with us in our efforts to end domestic violence.
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