Valley businessman donates 1,777 books to Mesa school

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- It's about that time of year when kids head back to class and start hitting the books. 

Students at one Mesa school are getting a little extra help with some new books this year, thanks to the generosity of a Valley businessman.

When Michael Pollack of Pollack Investments learned of the need for more library books at Holmes Elementary School, he decided to step in. The real estate entrepreneur donated 1,777 brand new books to the school.

A chance encounter with school principal Heidi Williams set it all in motion.

"I was at my movie theater in Tempe, and the principal of the school just happened to be there," says Pollack. "And she said, Michael, we have a problem." She went on to explain the shortage of books in the the library.

So Pollack came through with his generous donation. And this week, kids at the school lined up to form a "book brigade" to unload all the books and help move them to the library.

So why the odd number of books, 1777, instead of the more-recognizable 1776? "We always believe that we have to move forward," explains Pollack. "So we decided to make it 1777."

Pollack is encouraging the public to donate their own gently used books to local schools. "It's the gift that keeps on giving because they can keep on reading,"Pollack says.

"It means a lot for our school," says the principal, Heidi Williams. "A lot of our books are old and outdated."

Pollack is the owner of Pollack Tempe Cinemas, where you can see movies for just $3 daily, and $2 on Tuesdays.