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Eric Lebersfeld Speech at the Habitat for Humanity Gala

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Eric Lebersfeld was honored for the work done by him and the team at Capitol Lighting. The event occurred on October 5, 2013. His remarks are as follows: "Good evening. It's a great pleasure to be here and I want to thank Habitat for Humanity for giving me this honor and recognizing the work done by our company, Capitol Lighting. So, how did it come to be that a little Jewish boy from New Jersey who sells lights for a living ends up being honored by a big international Christian Ministry that builds houses. Well, my parents, by their thoughts and deeds, showed me to live in a way where I always look for what connects us, rather than what can divide us. It is easy to focus on differences, if that is the lense you choose the view the world through. The color of our skin, the kind of clothes we wear, if we had a car or if we had to take the bus, if we believe in one god, or many or none. If we had one parent, or many or none. If one elevates their thinking just a little bit, we come to realize that the small differences between us are easily dwarfed by the commonalities we all share. The quality of a person is not made up by who they know, what they have or how they look, but by who they are, what they create and how they can add to the lives of others. Capitol Lighting was founded in 1924 by my great grandparents, Max and Ethel Lebersfeld. Max was a master craftsman working with the first generation of American electricians. He would tear up the ornate parque floors of his well to do customers and replace their gas pipes with electrical wiring. He made them the promise that if they could find where he took up their floorboards, they didn't have to pay him. As far as I can tell, this was the first "money back guarantee" in history. Ethel was the wise one who decided that we should open a store and sell the light fixtures too. Together, they started Capitol Lighting and began our mission to make lives brighter. They did this literally and figuratively. For almost 90 years, Capitol Lighting has been on a quest of making the lives of our customers, our communities, our vendors and most importantly, our employees - brighter. We know "why" we're here and constantly strive improve on what we have to do to live our "why." Habitat's stated mission is that of "building hope with homes." They are also clear about their "why." Their organization is filled with dedicated and passionate people striving to provide deserving and hard working families with an incredible gift. They also have provided me personally and every member of my team who has worked on a habitat project the gift allowing us to do a mitzvah - a good deed. So it seems that Habitat is also is the business of making lives brighter, but they just do it ... with houses. Our goals are aligned and Capitol's and Habitat's working together makes all the sense in world. This past year, with the help of our spokesperson, Rob Van Winkle, also known as Vanilla Ice, our Making Lives Brighter campaign has donated well over $100,000 to Habitat and we look forward for that good work to continue. So thank you again to Habitat for Humanity for allowing Capitol Lighting the opportunity to support your good work for it allows us to fulfill our mission while helping you fulfill yours. Thank you all for being here tonight. Thank you to Mike Campbell, director of Habitat and Ana Vento of Vento Designs for making tonight such a success. Have a great rest of the evening."
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