Project SEARCH’s first year in Juneau began August 20th

Project SEARCH is a unique, business led, one year school-to-work program taking place entirely at the Bartlett Regional Hospital. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through a worksite internship experience. The goal of Project SEARCH is to help the student interns gain competitive employment in an integrated setting.  This project is a collaboration of Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau School District, REACH, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation.

Congratulations to Mary Helen on her retirement from REACH Shredding

Congratulations to Mary Helen on her retirement from REACH Shredding. We will miss her at the daily operation, but Mary Helen will still be served by REACH, so we’ll see her around. The cake was delish and everyone had a great time! Thank you, Mary Helen, for all your great work and for being part of the REACH Shredding team!

Millie Ryan Retires as Executive Director of REACH

On April 14th, Millie retired from her position as Executive Director of REACH, Inc. For five years, Millie led the agency through organizational changes, major adjustments due to federally-mandated changes for provider agencies, and other challenges facing agencies committed to serving people living with developmental and intellectual disabilities and delays. She strengthened the statewide network of provider agencies by serving in multiple capacities outside of REACH and by working closely to effect legislative chang.

Millie had a long and distinguished career in public service on behalf of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability community before coming to REACH. Among other roles, Millie served as Executive Director of the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education. Her broad experience with health related nonprofit agencies coupled with the workings of government and legislation gave REACH a distinct benefit during her tenure.

We wish Millie Ryan a wonderful and well-deserved retirement with lots of travel and the art classes she loves. REACH is a better organization for having Millie as our ED!

Reach services in the news

REACH celebrates their 40th anniversary this year. Joann Flora was the featured speaker Thursday at the weekly Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The organization operates REACH Shredding, the 9th Street Cafe in the federal building, REACH Custodial, and the Canvas Community Art Studio and Gallery. They honor and respect their clients and assist and encourage them to live better lives.

Millie Ryan, who is the Executive Director of REACH also talked highly of Lee Sandor, one of the founders who recently passed away. “She and her husband wanted something for their children to do, that they had activities after high school, and a place to go to grow and develop their skills and be part of our community. Big supporter over the years and most importantly one of the founding members.” Sandor was 92-years old.

REACH also operates three group homes and two assisted living apartments complexes. They serve in Juneau, Petersburg, Haines, Skagway, Yakutat, Hoonah, and Wrangell. Ryan will soon be retiring and will pass on her duties to another long term employee, “It is going to be a change. I will miss Reach. Dan Elstad will be the interim director. He has a lot of experience and expertise that will help Reach move forward.”

The organization is committed to bettering the lives of their clients and to making Juneau a better place. A 40th birthday party will take place on April 14th. Ryan urged local businesses to give their clients a try as they provide loyal, steady, and reliable employees.

(Reprinted from KINY News)

REACHing for 40

For 40 years, REACH has brought purpose, fun for individuals living with disabilities

It started in a church basement in 1977. Now, at 40 years old, the 300-employee REACH has offices in three Southeast communities, serving 400 individuals with developmental disabilities.

REACH, Juneau’s largest service agency for those born with developmental disabilities, will celebrate its 40th anniversary April 14.

The organization has grown from the brainchild of a group of local families — each looking to organize activities for their children — to one of Juneau’s largest private employers.

Read the full article in the Juneau Empire.


Four decades ago, a group of parents got together in a church basement with one goal: to organize social opportunities for their children with disabilities. Today, that small group has grown to serve an average of 400 individuals, in seven Southeastern communities, employing approximately 300 people! REACH was a dream that became a reality for families and individuals living with developmental and intellectual disabilities and delays.

On April 14th, we celebrate 40 years of service! Woohoo!! And, you are invited to celebrate with us at our anniversary party at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in Juneau, 7-10 pm. We’re hosting a reception buffet from Breeze In, a no-host bar, silent auction, presentations by several of the wonderful people we serve, a new video about REACH, and will draw the winning tickets in our anniversary raffle! It’s guaranteed to be a wonderful evening. Here’s how you can participate:

  • Buy raffle tickets! Prizes include air fare for two from Alaska Airlines, a Canoe Paddle & Trek for two from Above & Beyond Alaska, and Whale Watching for two from Juneau Tours! Tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50! You don’t need to be present to win, but if you come to the party, there is even more fun in store for you!
  • Get Tickets to the Anniversary Celebration! Tables of 10 are $450, or you can get individual tickets for $50 each.

Here’s how to get your tickets for both the raffle and the party: Call Joann Flora at 796-7202 or get them from the Canvas Arts Shop, at REACH Event Tix.

Come celebrate with us on April 14th. Thank you for all your past support! We look forward to serving the disability community for many years into the future!

Mardi Gras Cajun Fête for REACH a Success!

On Saturday, Feb 10th, the Knights of Columbus Council #1760 of Juneau hosted a Mardi Gras themed fund raising dinner for REACH at St. Ann’s Parish Hall. This is the second year the Knights have sponsored this event on behalf of REACH, and the event has really grown!

There were only 100 tickets for the dinner and nearly all of them were sold! Baker Dani Beyers whipped up some magic with freshly made King Cakes and beignets that made everyone salivate! The main course was Louisiana Shrimp boil, crab cakes, and red beans and rice. We ate really well!

Additional money was raised thanks to Alaskan Brewing donating the beer And, we auctioned off a matching hat and scarf from the Canvas at REACH, two plates designed by Ceramic artist, Alex Botelho, a beautiful 3-piece glassware set, and a cheesecake that was amazing!

REACH’s own DJ Manu, known as Manuel during business hours, set us up with great Cajun and New Orleans jazz tunes so we had a great party atmosphere during the evening.

The event was well attended, lots of fun, and we plan to do it again next year. Thanks again to everyone who helped, donated, and came to enjoy the party!

Thank You to FNBA!

First National Bank Alaska helped the Canvas Art Studio & Gallery with a generous year-end donation. FNBA has fully funded framing materials for the Canvas for 2018. This means our artists will have quality frame stock and glass in which to display their work. For artists living with disabilities, being able to present their work in a professional manner enables them to enjoy the benefits of being working artists. The Canvas at REACH is very grateful to FNBA for their kind gift!

Your 2018 PFD and Pick ~ Click ~ Give!

The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend application season is January 1st through March 31st each year. You may now apply for your 2018 PFD at When you apply, be sure to remember to Pick.Click.Give and make a donation to The Canvas at REACH.

If you make a non-anonymous contribution, you will automatically be entered into the “Double Your Dividend Sweepstakes”. On October 26, 2018, five (5) winners will be randomly drawn from all PFD applications that meet the sweepstakes eligibility requirements. Winners will be announced no later than November 5, 2018. This year, be sure to search for “The Canvas at REACH” (under ‘T’), make a donation, leave your name, and enter to double your dividend!