Sharing a dream come true

Feb. 22, 2013 @ 10:50 PM

Tommy and Gail McNeill in no way are novices when it comes to reaching back to help young people.

There's that time the couple, the owners of two Bull City hair salons, donated 10 Amazon Kindles to Durham Performance Learning Center, a nontraditional high school.

Yet with all of their philanthropy, which generally is related to education, one of the things the McNeills never had gotten around to doing was sitting down with kids and reading to them.

A couple of days before Valentine's Day, the McNeills showed some love by dropping by E.K. Powe Elementary School to read Jeffrey Gitomer's "Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude" to Hannah Bohlen's fourth-graders. 

Something as simple as whipping out an iPad and reading to those youngsters was so very rewarding, Tommy McNeill said.

"It was a dream come true," Tommy McNeill said.

E.K. Powe instructional facilitator Melissa Eatman said the kids enjoyed the McNeills' visit and extended an open invitation to them.

The McNeills, who arrived at the school armed with snacks, plan to make good on the offer.

"The students were so attentive and lively, which made this session go so smoothly," Tommy McNeill said. "The comments from the students were so thought-provoking, and it let us know they were paying attention. It was a great opportunity for us to continue to give back, and we are looking forward to future sessions with Durham Public Schools."