Featured Donors

 

Ten Exceptional Youth Receive Tom and Bonnie Lawyer West Las Vegas Library Scholar Awards - JUNE 2014

Ten Exceptional Youth Receive Tom and Bonnie Lawyer West Las Vegas Library Scholar Awards
From left to right: Dariyantay Johnson, Tiffani Russell, David Martin Vaquero, Amallely Gutierrez, Daniela Flores-Bello, Juan Gonzalez, Mariah Armstrong, and Avree Walker, with Bonnie and Tom Lawyer. Not pictured are Nika Sewell and Jarrell Bell.

 

Ten local students received thousand dollar scholar awards at the West Las Vegas Library for their exceptional academic achievements and civic contributions. Mariah Armstrong, Jarrell Bell, Daniela Flores-Bello, Juan Gonzales, Darriyante "Tay" Johnson, Amallely Gutierrez, Tiffani Russell, Nika Sewell, David Martin Vaquero and Avree Walker each received a Tom and Bonnie Lawyer West Las Vegas Scholar Award presented by Tom Lawyer, President of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation.

Tom Lawyer founded the award program when he received a presentation from West Las Vegas Library staff at a Foundation meeting in early 2010. "What struck me most was that this library was much more than books - it was a learning place, an achievement zone," he says. "I noticed that these library staff viewed their work as a 'calling,' not just a job. The West Las Vegas Library is a true community hub, one of the reasons the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District was given the National Medal for Library and Museum Service this year."

In honor of this exceptional staff spirit, Tom and his wife Bonnie launched the award program in 2010 with a pledge to fund five scholar awards for five years to local youth pursuing higher education. In the past five years 36 scholar awards have been given, with the Lawyers stepping up far beyond their original commitment. "Every year, we see an abundance of talented local applicants with big dreams," says Lawyer, "and we found a way to fund more awards."

This year's award winners are no exception. Many are the first to graduate high school in their families. Their dreams are big: Four of the five are headed towards careers in medicine, with one - Nika Sewell - making her first trip to work with medical clinics in Kenya. Several are developing as community leaders and spokespeople. Juan Gonzalez sits as Senator in UNLV Student Government for the College of Business.

The lines of Edgar Guest's poem "See it Through," recited by Darriyante "Tay" Johnson who stood proudly by his grandmother, resonated among students in the crowd, all of whom have overcome family or economic adversity and yet have exercised great tenacity to be where they are today.

All have not only made tremendous strides in their personal development, but have made immense community contributions. Avree Walker, the only four-time winner of the award, continues to work with the Performing and Visual Arts Camp, an exemplary community collaboration between the West Las Vegas Library and the City of Las Vegas' Art Center and Doolittle Community Center. Walker's talent as a dancer was recognized by Alvin Ailey, but his path has kept him local and engaged not only in his professional career, but in helping other local youth find a path forward via dance and the arts.

PwC Charitable Foundation Awards $20,000 to Support Innovative Teen Program - JANUARY 2014

PwC Charitable Foundation Awards $20,000 to Support Innovative Teen Program

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation has been awarded $20,000 from the PwC Charitable Foundation in support of the TechArt Studio, a priority project that provides middle and high school youth access to digital literacy skills and production and strengthens their connections to employment opportunities. The award provides support for equipment such as laptops, software and cameras. The grant builds on the $10,000 award last year that provided equipment and training from consultants experienced in starting up youth digital technology programs.

"TechArt Studios connect teens to real world jobs and production experiences," said Fred Hipwell, managing partner of the Las Vegas PwC office. "The Studios give youth instruction and a place to develop digital technology skills that are part of today's workforce. The Library is the perfect place to grow programs like this to scale, giving youth across the Vegas Valley access to free, creative out-of-school learning experiences that translate to value in the job market. For example, youth in this program not only pick up new technology skills, they also gain experience in working in teams, problem-solving and creating products from start to finish. It is important to the PwC Charitable Foundation and to PwC's Las Vegas office that we contribute to building the next generation workforce and the creative economy in our region."

TechArt Studio programs will span a variety of instructional programs, including a behind the scenes film camp; storyboarding, moviemaking, digital photography, graphic design, music production, video game development and hands-on experience in the art of DJing. Library branches that host the TechArt Studio will also provide places for youth to get access to digital media equipment and gain mastery of digital technologies and production. A schedule of current programs can be found on the library's website at http://www.lvccld.org/teen/tech_art_studio/events.cfm.

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and Foundation have been developing the TechArt Studio program in partnership with the City of Las Vegas Office of Community Services; Henderson District Public Libraries; DISCOVERY Children's Museum; the Las Vegas Natural History Museum; and the UNLV Department of Journalism and Media Studies. Donations to develop and launch this new library service have also come from the Best Buy Children's Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the MacArthur Foundation, Nevada State Library & Archives and the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation.

Tim Wong and Arcata Associates, Inc. respond to summer reading challenge

Tim Wong and Arcata Associates, Inc. respond to summer reading challenge

Tim Wong has been a super champion of the library, serving both as a member of the Library District Board of Trustees and as a founding member of the Library Foundation Board of Directors, including two years as Foundation President. Recognizing that summers are a time of special risk for reading skill loss, Tim and his company, Arcata Associates, Inc., made critical contributions to the library’s summer reading program, Club Read. These gifts of $10,000 each amplified media outreach and expanded reader recognition in a time of library cutbacks. The result was a dramatic increase in reading - the number of prizes awarded to over 23,000 summer reading program participants (one prize awarded for every five books read), grew from 17,000 last year to 36,572 this year. Tim is pictured presenting his gift to (left to right) Foundation President Keiba Crear, Library District Board of Trustees Chair Kelly Benavidez, and Library District Executive Director Jeanne Goodrich.

Tom Lawyer of Lawyer Trane, Inc. supports academic achievement and the arts

Tom Lawyer of Lawyer Trane, Inc. supports academic achievement and the arts

Tom Lawyer has served on the Foundation Board of Directors since 2005, including two years as Foundation President. When Tom visited the West Las Vegas branch library in 2010, he noticed that the library was the hub of civic life. He memorialized that library’s community spirit with a pledge to support five years of five scholar awards to neighborhood students pursuing higher education and community service. Since 2010, 27 thousand-dollar awards have been gifted to area students who are pursuing their dreams. In this picture Tom proudly stands with (left to right) Mrs. Simon Cruz; his wife, Bonnie Lawyer, and 2013 award recipient Maribel Simon Cruz. Tom and his company, Lawyer Trane, Inc., also contributed $4,000 to support seven 2013 Spring Break Art Camps and 423 teen art experiences.

Fred Hipwell and the PwC Charitable Foundation support teens and learning

Fred Hipwell and the PwC Charitable Foundation support teens and learning

Fred Hipwell, Managing Partner for the Las Vegas PwC Office, helped the Library Foundation secure a $10,000 grant to launch Teen TechArt Studios. In line with the youth education mission of the PwC Charitable Trust, this program has already demonstrated the ability to bring powerful digital media learning experiences to youth, not only expanding their digital media skills, but also helping them create a portfolio of production products, meet new friends with like interests, learn to work in teams with other youth, and build relationships with local digital media practitioners and employers. Fred is pictured here (left to right) with Library District Executive Director Jeanne Goodrich, Fred’s wife and former Library Foundation Secretary-Treasurer, Kris Hipwell, and Library Foundation President, Keiba Crear.

The Best Buy Children’s Foundation supports teens and technology

Best Buy The Library Foundation received a $4,000 grant award from Best Buy to launch new digital media services for teens across the Vegas Valley. With the help of this Best Buy grant, the Library District is purchasing new equipment and training staff to roll out Teen TechArt Studios - places where youth can create, connect and collaborate around media production activities.

 

Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club

Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club

Pictured above from l to r: Library Foundation President Tim Wong, Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club representative Tamar Hoapili, Library Board of Trustees Chairperson Kelly Benevidez and Library Executive Director Jeanne Goodrich.

With the Hawaiian population in Nevada doubling in the last decade, Las Vegas is now known as the "Ninth Island." To promote cultural awareness and celebrate the rich Hawaiian heritage with the people of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club conducted a Heluhelu ("read and count") book drive that gathered both volumes and $1,500 in donations for new library materials - books, music and DVDs - which will be placed in libraries across the Vegas Valley.

Tales from the Boneyard

Tales from the Boneyard

BoneyardAt the 2010 Vegas Valley Book Festival, local comic book aficionados released a locally-designed and produced graphic novel focused on Las Vegas. Tales From the Boneyard was created as six sequential stories, featuring comics from Jarret Keene, Victor Moya, Deryl Skelton, F. Andrew Taylor, Barret Thomson, and Warren Wucinich. Tales From the Boneyard includes stories set in the Neon Boneyard, a new museum that is part of the Las Vegas Boulevard's "Cultural Corridor." Revenues from sales of the novel raised $1,052.30, have now been generously contributed back to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation to support this year's Comic Book Festival and publication. A special shout out goes to P.J. Perez, editor of Tales From the Boneyard and founder of the publishing company, Pop! Goes the Icon; who along with his colleagues at Alternate Reality Comics; MaximuM Comics; Comic Oasis; Grace City Comics; and Frankie's Tiki Room, provided generous underwriting for last year's publication, as well as this year's "pay forward" gift. Stay tuned and mark your calendars for this year's book festival, scheduled for November 3-6.