Local philanthropist delivers $25,000 wish to Green Valley Library

Robert ‘Bobby’ Ellis’ donation allows Henderson Libraries to build Teen Lounge

HENDERSON, Nev.The Green Valley Library’s Teen Services department received a bit more for the holidays than usual – a $25,000 donation to construct The Teen Lounge inside the Green Valley Library, located at 2797 N. Green Valley Parkway. The wish was granted by philanthropist and local business owner Robert “Bobby” Ellis.

Ellis found out Henderson Libraries had entered the Pepsi Refresh Challenge to compete for a $25,000 grant to create a Teen Lounge that would double the library space available for teen studying and socializing at the library.

To the library’s surprise, Ellis came to the library with a $25,000 donation that would cover the costs of implementing the Teen Lounge.

“This is the future generation that will run this country, and if they have a place to go it’s great for them,” said Ellis, president and CEO of Snap Towing and former owner of B&E Auto Auctions in Henderson.

Ellis has a storied career of philanthropy in Henderson. He makes sure the students at Whitney Elementary School not only have school supplies to last them throughout the school year but gifts to open during the holidays. He also has helped out students at Basic High School, among others. His donation to the Green Valley Library plays heavily into his belief in the children of the future.

“Education is where it’s at for these kids,” he said. He sold B&E Auto Auction three years ago and uses some of the profits to help out where he can. “I still feel Henderson is a small community and we have to help each other.”

When finished, the Teen Lounge will double the library space available for teen studying and socializing at the library. The room, partitioned from the rest of the library, will include designated seating areas for teen events and gaming, quiet study, reading and socialization. The donation directly pays for furniture, partitions, computer equipment, art, electronics, a video game library and high-interest non-fiction book collection for teens. It is slated for completion in August 2011, just in time for the new school year.

“Mr. Ellis’ contribution shows the teens at the Green Valley Library if you work hard for something, and raise awareness, good things can happen,” said Tom Fay, executive director of the Henderson Libraries. “Out of 1,096 community ideas in the Pepsi Refresh Grant competition, the Green Valley Library ranked 158th in the nation, which is an amazing feat. It illustrates how much work the teen services librarians, the teens and the community put in to make this wish a reality. Mr. Ellis saw what they were doing and offered to help, whether the library won the grant or not. He’s a true humanitarian, and we’re lucky to have him as a community partner.”

Jessica Sullenberger, teen services librarian at the Green Valley Library, and the teens at the library are anticipating the opening of the Teen Lounge.

“We’re thrilled to be the recipients of Mr. Ellis’ generosity, and we can’t wait to see the dream of a designated teen area come to fruition as a result of his generosity,” she said. “This will bring more teens into the library to read, study or just hang out. The more, the merrier.”

Established in 1943 as a single library in Downtown Henderson, Henderson Libraries operates six locations throughout Henderson. Henderson Libraries cooperates with other public libraries in Southern Nevada, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Clark County School District and all other libraries around the state to provide quality service for Nevada’s residents.

For additional information on Henderson Libraries and its many services and resources, visit www.mypubliclibrary.com or call 702-492-6581.