Concerned Citizens Took Action and Built a Coalition for a Safer Community
In 1987, three dedicated members of the community (Janice Carey, Rex Carey and Vera Wofford) formed a community coalition and organized meetings between citizens, law enforcement officers, school administrators and city officials for the purpose of addressing alcohol and other substance abuse problems evident in the community.
Shortly after the formation of the coalition, the community faced a significant loss with the tragic murder of a young undercover police officer by two Midlothian High School students. Following Officer Raffield’s death, the community grew even stronger, and more citizens joined in the coalition efforts to combat the growing issue of youth substance use.
REACH Council was chartered as a non-profit organization in September 1988 and currently operates under the dba of REACH Council Prevention Services. What began as a local movement in Midlothian, Texas grew to include programs throughout Ellis County within only a few years and eventually expanded to neighboring Johnson County. REACH began as a community coalition, with programs funded by the city and conducted by volunteers until 1991, at which time the organization received its first state grant for implementing drug prevention education.
This page is dedicated to agency’s three founders who saw a need and took action, the countless dedicated employees who have carried out the REACH mission over the years, and the honorable memory of Officer George Raffield Jr.
While the Raffield family is not affiliated with REACH, George Raffield’s selfless bravery to combat drugs was the inspiration that led other concerned citizens to take action and continue the fight against substance use/abuse.
In the days, months and years since Officer Raffield sacrificed his life for a cause, there have been multiple articles and publications covering everything from the breaking news reports to the murder trials to family interviews years later. While REACH makes no claim of endorsement, links to some of the publications are provided below.
The New Kid: A cop is shot at a Texas school; Time Magazine, Nov 09, 1987
Innocence Lost by Carlton Stowers
George Raffield Story Part 1 – YouTube Publication from Red Oak PD
George Raffield Story Part 2 – YouTube Publication from Red Oak PD
Where City Meets Country, A Killing; New York Times, Oct 29, 1987
A large portion of our budget for drug prevention comes in the form of grants from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission HHSC (Formerly DSHS). We also receive generous contributions from Midlothian ISD, Joshua ISD, the City of Midlothian, the United Way of West Ellis County, and Ellis County Juvenile Services. REACH also receives annual donations from the Midlothian Lion’s Club, as well as from REACH board members. Typically, 1-2 fundraising events are organized each year which bring in funding from community sponsors and event participants. School and employment drug testing services and all other (non-ATOD) prevention programs are fee-based services because they are not covered under our drug prevention grant contracts.