Cole makes Spark Plug donations: Keynote speaker gives $25K each to Omega House, Copper Country Humane Society

Michael H. Babcock/Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce Edward “Bud” Cole delivers the keynote speech at Thursday’s Keweenaw Spark Plug Awards. Cole gave $25,000 donations to Omega House and the Copper Country Humane Society.

HOUGHTON — The Keweenaw Community Spark Plug Awards keynote speaker Edward “Bud” Cole donated $25,000 to both the Omega House and the Copper Country Humane Society.

Cole is the president of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (Fender Guitar) of Asia and Japan.

Benevolence has been a big part of his life since a young age and was mentioned throughout his speech.

He said, “giving opens the doors to receiving,” so he likes to continuously give to show his gratitude.

Before announcing his donations he briefly discussed his motto.

“I never ask people to do things that I would not do myself,” Cole said.

Both organizations are among his favorites. As a dog lover, he appreciates the work and loves what they do in the community.

Cole even got emotional when speaking about Omega House.

“They do some of the most noble, beautiful and graceful work,” he said. “It’s really hard to talk about. We’re lucky to have them.”  

Omega House Executive Director Mike Lutz said “It was truly humbling on my behalf to be able to accept such a large donation like that.

He added, “it really shows how people of our community have recognized the importance of what Omega House means to the community.”

During the night, Cole stressed the importance of embracing the Keweenaw, the businesses and the people that make the U.P. what it is.

Although he has been to over 60 countries and lived all over the world, he said no place has seasons, nature, storytelling, history and people like here. That is what keeps him coming back at least 12 times a year.

“It’s a great retreat from a more complex part of my life,” said Cole. “I can come home and be myself and be with people I love and care about in a community that generally cares about each other.”

He said the goal of his speech was to share his global insight and perspective, while also reminding the people of the greatness right in front of them.

“There’s a lot of amazing things being done here in the Keweenaw and you should know that and embrace it,” said Cole.

He also talked about the many positions he’s held and things he’s learned along the way.

He left the audience with his keys to success: loving what you do, giving back, being courageous and loving oneself.

When speaking of those things he said, “they’ve helped me achieve my wildest dreams.”