Renie D’Aquila, executive director of Reach Child and Youth Development Society, was recently honoured for her career spent helping people in Delta with developmental disabilities.
D’Aquila was recognized by Rotary Club of Ladner with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award at the club’s Installation and Awards Dinner on July 9.
“In the 20 years she has held her current position as Reach executive director, Renie has ensured that all Reach programs and services follow a positive, supportive and family-centred approach, leading to their great success,” reads a Rotary Club press release. “With that focus and her work with others to attract sustainable funding, 1,150 children now benefit from Reach programs and services so that families experience success and each child is given the opportunity to reach their potential.”
An untiring advocate for children and families, D’Aquila also currently serves on the board of the BC Association for Child Development and Intervention, whose mission is to advocate for quality child development and therapy services that are inclusive and accessible to all children and families.
In 2010, D’Aquila formed the Reach Foundation Board to raise funds to build a new child development centre. The Building for Children Together project was a partnership between the Corporation (now City) of Delta, Reach and the Ladner Tsawwassen Kinsmen Club. The city provided the land, valued at in excess of $1 million, and the Reach Foundation raised $5.7 million to ensure completion of the new centre’s construction.
In February 2018, the three-storey 20,000-square-foot Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children opened as a community resource, with therapy and counseling rooms, youth program areas, specialized lending libraries and an inclusive preschool with playground.
“The resourcefulness and persistence that Renie has displayed throughout her working life in fighting for vulnerable populations has resulted in the creation of the beautiful Reach children’s centre in Ladner that serves children and youth with special needs and their families,” Reach Foundation board first chair and Rotarian Irene Forcier said in a press release.
“Renie is a thoughtful and passionate leader for the team at Reach,” Forcier added. “She cares greatly for each individual’s health and well-being and will always go out of her way to support her team both personally and professionally.”