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Aurora Public Library gets $3 million donation

Dr. GinSantori

Dr. Gina Santori

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Updated: January 25, 2014 6:17AM

Richard Santori was a self-taught man.

But, he accomplished a lot.

“He studied each morning with the reading of encyclopedias to act as his curriculum,” his wife, Gina Santori, said. “It served him well in his life, and he mentored others with his generosity of knowledge and time.”

And though he passed away in 2010, the man dedicated to lifelong learning will continue to gift Aurora with knowledge for years to come.

In the spring of 2015, the new Aurora Public Library branch downtown will have a new name, The Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora, thanks to a $3 million donation by the Richard and Gina Santori Charitable Foundation.

Gina Santori works as a physician and surgeon who practices only on a pro bono basis caring for diabetic and renal patients. Richard owned several auto dealerships in and around Aurora, and was a former Army and Air Force Reserves pilot.

Education was invaluable to the duo, Gina Santori said.

“My husband, a self-taught man, was never afforded the education that he held so dear,” Gina said.

The donation to the library will assure thousands of children throughout Aurora are given the tools they need for educational success, she said.

A new teen center will provide tablets, educational software, music and broadcasting equipment. The LIFE (Learning in an Informal and Fun Environment) Development Center will provide technology to help students learn about careers in science, math and beyond.

“There are not adequate words to describe how grateful we are to Dr. Santori,” Library Board of Directors President John Savage said.

The impact of this donation has been called immeasurable.

“Dr. Santori is truly one of the most kind and inspiring people I have ever met,” said Library Director Eva Luckinbill. “She has an energy about her that is contagious and just makes you want to do more. We are truly grateful for what she is doing in our community.”

The current main Aurora Public Library branch opened in 1904 and was built with a $50,00 grant. The new Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora is currently being built at the corner of River Street and Benton Street. It is expected to open in May 2015.

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