|Whitney Elementary Principal Sherrie Gahn thanks Bobby Ellis of SNAP Towing for a $25,000 check donated to the school to help provide Christmas for students of the school. Ellis and his wife, Sandy, have given Whitney nearly $150,000 to help the school which is comprised of a high concentration of underprivileged and homeless students.
Whitney Elementary School Principal Sherrie Gahn has had a monumental task on her hands for seven years. The challenge created by the fact that the school of about 600 students is comprised of a high concentration of homeless and underprivileged youth has been helped by donations from Bobby and Sandy Ellis of SNAP Towing in Henderson.
The Ellis family donated another $25,000 this week to help Gahn meet her goal of making sure all of her students have a nice Christmas. In all, the Ellis family and SNAP Towing have donated about $150,000 to Whitney Elementary over the years.
“There have been times when I have been sitting in my office crying and wondering how I’m going to take care of these kids,” said Gahn, whose efforts have been recognized nationally and even internationally. “Then, all of a sudden another check will arrive from Bobby Ellis.
“He’s our angel, that’s for sure. There have been many times when I wonder how I’m going to help these kids many who are starving and Bobby always comes through for us.”
The 66 year-old Ellis, who has lived in Southern Nevada since 1959, said his family was proud to be a part of helping Whitney.
“The real heroes in my mind are the administrators who provide incredible guidance at Whitney; and the kids who absolutely refuse to give up,” Ellis said. “These kids come from bad circumstances and they do well primarily because they are given a chance by Sherrie and her staff. This is truly one of the most heartwarming stories in the country and it has only become that way because of dedicated people helping others.
“Every time we donate to Whitney, Sandy and I receive hand-written thank-you notes from every student in the school. We’ll be there for them whenever we’re needed.”
Ellis said especially heart-warming is the fact that Whitney attracts many volunteers who offer to help the students and the staff after hearing the school’s story.
“For instance, the Shriners have adopted the school, and once a month they arrive at the school dressed as clowns to celebrate the birthdays of various students at the school,” said Ellis. “However, there are so many volunteers that give everything from clothing to time and love to make this one of those real feel-good stories. Whitney attracts people from all walks of life.”
The groundswell to help Whitney Elementary recently included a national story aired by CNN. Gahn said she even received a call from someone in Germany wanting to inquire about the Whitney story.
Since the Ellis family started helping Whitney four years ago, more help has been ooffered by others who have heard the story about the school situated just southeast of Boulder Highway and East Tropicana Avenue.
“It takes a village,” Gahn said recently after receiving 50 turkeys to feed the families of Whitney for Thanksgiving by the staff of Findlay Acura. “The outpouring of help is wonderful and we especially appreciate what Bobby and his family has done for us.”