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2010’s History – REACH


Reach Child and Youth Development Society celebrated having completed 51 years of service dedicated to children with special needs and their families. An 8% increase of children served over 2009 was achieved resulting in 663 children and youth receiving service in 2010. Family satisfaction with REACH services increased from 86% in 2009 to 97% in 2010. Reach Society president Rob VanSpronssen focused on keeping the organization strong and fit during the year’s tough economic climate, in order to continue to deliver the most effective direct service to the community.

REACH EIBI program closed on January 31, 2010, following the government decision to no longer fund EIBI programs in BC. A new, individually funded program called Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA). The province of BC made a financial commitment to provide funding during the transition from EIBI to ABA, which has allowed REACH to retain our qualified autism staff. Executive Director Renie D’Aquila stated that, “amidst these changes it was Reach’s top priority to develop a modified program that could continue to provide the most beneficial service for children with ASD and their families.”

Reach Child and Youth Development Foundation, made up of a strong working board of directors chaired by Irene Forcier, was formed to spearhead funding for a new capital campaign to raise $4 million over the next four years. The new Building for Children Together Campaign aims to build a new facility in the heart of Ladner on land donated by the Corporation of Delta and in partnership with the Ladner Tsawwassen Kinsmen Club.


Over 800 children were served by Reach Society programs this year constituting a 21% increase over last year. Building capacity remained a priority this year and workshops and community education was delivered to 150 individuals. An exciting development included introduction of a sibling workshop in Delta that provided information and support for siblings of children with special needs.

CARF re-accreditation took place in January and Reach passed with flying colours, receiving only three minor recommendations. In October, Reach held it’s 52nd annual general meeting and family fun event at the site of the future new facility, Kin House in Ladner, BC. “Making Magic Happen” celebrated the achievements of the last year and featured a bouncy castle, face painting, crafts, games and the Delta Gymnastics tumbling centre for families attending.

Fall 2011 Inside Reach Newsletter: Making the Magic Happen

Reach Child and Youth Charitable Foundation progressed with planning for the  $4 million capital campaign. The Building for Children Together Campaign will fund a new 20,000 square foot children’s centre in the heart of Ladner. The new facility is targeted for construction in 2015 and will make programs for children and families more accessible than ever. The 20/20 Vision Christmas pledge drive was introduced with a goal of having 500 people donate $20 per month over 20 months to raise a total of $200,000 towards the campaign.


Reach Child and Youth Society President Rob vanSpronssen welcomes Councilor Sylvia Bishop as Reach liaison with Delta Council.  Reach demonstrated an overall increase of 14% in the number of children served over 2011. Down Syndrome Family support group was formed. Families meet on the first Thursday of each month. Goals are to provide guest speakers to discuss common issues; to provide support and information to parents of children with Down Syndrome; to connect parent of children with Down Syndrome.

Reach Family Survey was sent out and results showed that 93% of respondents found REACH programs were well publicized and easy to find. The Parent Support Network hit 353 subscribers who receive recommended resources and updates pertinent for children with needs. Reach Society took part in Celebrate Child – Inspire Ability that helped local children at Reach Society and in the Dominican Republic.

Press: Inspiring Ability Both Near and Far

Reach’s annual general meeting on October 20th, included a youth panel “Tapping Teen Potential: Recognition, Dialogue & Discovery with Youth and Young Adults from our community”.  The aim was to look at the needs and celebrate the strengths and accomplishments of youth in our community. Reach invited a panel of youths to answer questions about services and supports, students who have raised funds for REACH and the band Midnight Overture, made up of young adults with special needs performed.

Fall 2012 Inside Reach Newsletter: Tapping Teen Potential 

Barb Wallick took over from Irene Forcier as chair of the Reach Foundation.  In June, Delta Agricultural Society donated $250,000 towards the Building for Children Together Campaign:

Press: Delta Agricultural Society Donates $250,000



Reach Society translates main brochure and ABA brochures into Punjabi and Mandarin and provides translators as needed in order to better serve the cultural diversity of our families. In addition, a monthly support group was formed to help caregivers with stress from living with a child with additional needs and what to do to cope, survive and thrive. REACH posted first videos on their new YouTube Channel and Board Treasurer Jack Davidson retired after 13 years of dedicated service leaving a legacy of knowledge and volunteer commitment helped strengthen Reach immeasurably.

REACH social enterprise FINDS was founded this year.  FINDS Reach’s Children’s’ Thrift Store opened Monday October 7th featuring quality items for children 12 years and under. The store is run completely by volunteers with 100% of the proceeds going to Reach Child and Youth Development Society programs for children. The store is located at Reach’s facility in east Ladner.

Press: Finds Children’s Thrift Store Benefits Reach

Reach Foundation enjoyed a significant $100,000 contribution from Westshore Terminals this year and raised $50,000 at the inaugural Reach for the Stars event featuring Chris Gailus, News Hour Anchor at Global TV as MC.

Press: Westshore Terminals Donates $100,000

The Building for Children Campaign reached the $1 million mark this year. McHappy Day, Rocking for Reach events were very successful and proceeds were contributed. Port Metro Vancouver made a multi-year commitment to include Reach as one of the beneficiaries of the annual Port Fundraising events.


REACH received the fourth 3 year accreditation this year with the comment, “ Services, personnel and documentation clearly indicate an established pattern of practice excellence”. In addition, REACH welcomed guests to officially open the DeltaKids Early Years Centre .  Reach was proud to have been chosen by the province of BC to host the new Early Years Centre in North Delta Recreation Centre.

Photo taken Oct.17, 2014
L:R Ian Paton, Bruce McDonald, Robert Campbell, MLA Sephanie Cadieux, Mayor Lois Jackson, Rob VanSpronssen, Sylvia Bishop, MLA Scott Hamilton, Renie D’Aquila, Laura Dixon, Jeff Scott, Marcia McCafferty, Donna Burke


Building for Children Together enjoyed considerable support during 2014, including Century Group’s promise donation of $100,000 for a children’s playground at the new location. In addition, $80,000 was raised through Reach for the Stars, McHappy Day and Rockin’ for Reach events. John and Lindae Thomas committed $100,000 over two years and Port Metro Galas gave $75,000 in 2014, the second year of their three year commitment .

Press: Rockin’ for Reach Back with Jim Byrnes



REACH Annual General Meeting 2015 focused on thanking the volunteers who logged an incredible 3659 hours during the year. FINDS children’s thrift store started operating out of an Elliott Street storefront in addition to the head office location in 2015, garnering $11,000 in new funding.

870 individuals participated in REACH programs, reflecting an overall decrease of 3.45% in the number of children served. With an increase in South Asian families in REACH demographics, REACH moved to raise awareness of services in North Delta.  In December 2015, REACH staff Renie D’Aquila, Monisha Jassi and Delta Councilor Sylvia Bishop were interviewed on KRPI South Asian Radio 1550 AM.   Dr. Romana interviewed staff in order to assist Punjabi speaking families  to learn more about programs and services available to support families with REACH. The Punjabi Speaking Parent Support Group was created to support parents by sharing information and experiences.   Rob vanSpronssen stepped down as Reach Society president and was replaced by Donna Burke. Rob committed to remaining with Reach on the Advisory Board .

In October 2015, Reach was recognized as an inclusive employer for hiring people with disabilities. Kurtis Reid nominated REACH, where he is employed as a playgroup assistant in the Infant Development Program (IDP).

Press: Reach Honoured as Inclusive Employer

REACH Foundation had a very successful year. Rockin’ for REACH music fundraiser raised $13,000, Reach for the Stars Gala 2015 raised $100,000 and McHappy Day raised $13,000. Foundation Chair Barb Wallick stepped down and Denis Horgan replaced her as Acting Chair. The City of Delta also gave $1 million in addition to the land:

Press: Reach Gets $1 Million from Municipal Hall

In June, a donor appreciation event was held at the building site in the still-standing Kin House to commemorate reaching the half way point of capital campaign fundraising. Local dignitaries attended and TFN Chief Bryce Williams performed a traditional welcome for guests.

Press: Reach Hits a Milestone in Fundraising Campaign

On a sad note, REACH Foundation lost director Linda Ottho in January of 2015. “Linda was introduced to Reach as part of a Ladner Rotary Club contingent charged with organizing an Easter Egg Hunt for preschoolers.  From the moment Linda met these children she was smitten and shortly thereafter she began her new volunteer career as a Reach Foundation Board Member.  She worked tirelessly day and night to  raise the funds needed  to create a new centre  in Ladner where more children and youth  could be helped. At Linda’s passing, Reach’s building campaign had generated 2.3 million of the $4 million plus dollars needed.   Linda’s contribution to Reach will forever be recognized on a plaque in her memory in the new Ladner based child development centre .” Renie D’Aquila, Executive Director, REACH



Highlights of 2016 included officially opening the REACH Play & Learn Centre in North Delta Recreation Centre (NDRC) in February. With the help of MK Delta Lands Group, the previous administration offices at NDRC were transformed to a group area for the Infant Development Program (IDP) and individual therapy rooms for REACH’s autism program (ABA). REACH also held an information fair at the NDRC to spread awareness of their programs in October:

Press: Reach Hosting INFO FAIR to showcase programs

REACH launched the first crowdfunding appeal for holiday giving in support of Speech Therapy this year. The Gift of Speech 2016 featured Lucas Dickens in therapy sessions and raised over $10,000.

Press: Reach Needs Help from the Public to Give the Gift of Speech

REACH Foundation and the Building for Children Together Campaign celebrated multiple milestones in 2016. On June 23, 2016 a Groundbreaking Ceremony was held at the new building site attended by dignitaries, board volunteers, staff and donors.

Press: Groundbreaking held for REACH Child Development Centre

Sadly, REACH Foundation director Norman Stark passed away.  “Reach Foundation Director Norman Stark passed away on December 14th, 2016. He was a generous man and a community leader whose genuine satisfaction came from helping, supporting and encouraging others. Norman had a lasting impact on Reach and he was instrumental to the success of our capital campaign and in doing so he helped create the foundation that will help generations of children to come.  Norman guided us and taught us, inspired us and led by example and with integrity.  He touched many of our lives deeply with his wisdom and caring ways.  Norman will live on in our hearts and in our memories and in the lives of all the children who will receive help as a result of Norman’s commitment to Reach.” Renie D’Aquila, Executive Director, REACH


2017 marked the passing of Reach Society Board director Jack Davidson. He will be sadly missed by all who knew his kind and generous ways. Jack was Reach’s treasurer from 2006 to 2013. He was a quiet and unassuming gentleman who shared the wisdom from his career as a bank manager with us.REACH president Donna Burke advocated for students with special needs with Delta school trustees in light of a $50 million funding announcement March 8, 2017: “”Please, keep our vulnerable students with different abilities foremost in mind and support them in a variety of ways.”


REACH community based DeltaKids Early Years Centre experienced significant growth this year with 99 parents and 177 children participating in programs held at North Delta Recreation Centre. REACH head office moves to 5050 47 Ave., Ladner, BC V4K OC8, at the new South Delta based centre for children  made possible with funds raised through the BUILDING FOR CHILDREN TOGETHER campaign in December of 2017.  Social enterprise FINDS enjoyed increased sales again this year and volunteers were recognized during volunteer week:


REACH Foundation Director Tanya Corbett resigned the board this year, she worked tirelessly on behalf of the capital campaign and leaves behind strong connections with TFN. REACH was the featured beneficiary of the Delta Firefighters Charitable Foundation’s Harvest Festival in September that raised $30,911 for the capital campaign. The 5th annual Reach for the Stars Gala raised $100,000 for the second year in a row, bringing the campaign total to $5.2 million in April.


REACH Foundation was the recipient of a new fundraiser hosted by Tasty Indian Bistro in North Delta in June. As well as raising awareness about REACH in the South Asian community, this incredibly successful event raised $48,294 for the BUILDING FOR CHILDREN TOGETHER campaign.




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