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Ellis is a respected presence in BentonDate: 06/05/2017
Participating in volunteer efforts gives Selena Ellis great joy.
In fact, fulfilling the needs of others is far more than the occasional act of kindness for Ellis. Serving her fellow residents of Benton is a way of life.
“I just can’t get volunteering out of my system. It’s just there,” Ellis said. “It makes me happy. I like to see things improve. Volunteering keeps me active. It keeps me involved. It keeps me sharp.”
Ellis was raised in a household where following Christian principles and being a positive presence in the community was expected. Doing your part to improve the community is a concept that all people should embrace, according to Ellis.
Among her church activities are: president of the Episcopal Church Women, executive council of ECW, serving as the St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church Sunday School Superintendent and Sunday School teacher. Outside of church, Ellis volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, is a charter board member of the Royal Players Community Theatre, and is a widely respected master gardener.
Ellis was recently at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock as part of a select group of Arkansans who were honored during the 2017 Community Service Awards. The CSA was sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Communications and Community Engagement (OCCE) and KARK Channel 4, in cooperation with McLarty Automotive Group, the Office of the Governor, and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism.
Ellis is an active member of Benton’s arts community. She’s always enthusiastic about her volunteer work with the historic Royal Theatre.
Ellis’ willingness to assist the theatre and participate in several other endeavors, has resulted in her becoming an adored resident of the Saline County city.
“Selena Ellis is an amazing woman and loves giving back to the community of Benton,” said OCCE Volunteer Program Coordinator Kim Simpson. “Selena’s drive and dedication only means that even more great things are forthcoming for the city of Benton.”
A visionary who often thinks of the long-term status of Benton, Ellis is also an advocate of youth volunteerism. She’s not coy when encouraging youth to become active in their community.
“It’s wonderful to have the youth involved in volunteering,” she says. “Also, there’s a correlation between young people who are regulars in volunteering being able to stay out of trouble.”
One of the ways to cater wholesale change is for the people to unite and strive to create an improved living environment, according to Ellis.
“Everyone who volunteers contributes to making the world better,” she stated. “If everyone was to volunteer, together we could make the world a much better place as a whole.”
Cutline: Ellis, on the far left, speaks with a group of Benton community leaders during a meeting outside the Royal Theatre.