Alberto Sutton’s Remarks at 2012 Gala

Good evening.  Thank you David for that nice introduction.

Fellow honorees, ladies and gentlemen.  I am receiving this award tonight for young leadership, however, I myself cannot take credit for this award.  The credit belongs to my lovely wife Susie, my parents and my in laws, for if not for them I would not be standing before you tonight.

First, my wife Susie.  She’s been by my side through thick and thin, encouraging me always to participate and get involved in acts of Hesed.  Without her taking care of the family, being my backbone and someone I can always rely on, I would not be able to devote the time that is necessary to participate on the various boards and committees that I serve on.

Second, my parents, for instilling in me the importance of helping others and last, but not least, my in-laws.  My father-in-law Joseph Aboudi (whose book you will receive this evening) who through his courage and devotion to what he believes in showed me the right path to choose and work hard to give back to the community.

I arrived in this country at the age of 7 with my 2 brothers and my father.  At that time my father was starting over in this great country and those were extremely tough times.

When it came time for us to go to school my father insisted on sending us to Yeshiva.  Not being able to pay the tuition we received tuition scholarships for many years.  Since then with God’s help my father was able to repay all the good that was given to him . . . and much, much more.

Organizations like Open University and other educational institutions are ones I have a particular affinity toward helping and getting involved in.

One, because these schools have been good to me and there is no greater mitzvah than recognition of good.  I will never forget what they did for me and my family.  Nor will I ever stop supporting them as long as I am able to, God willing.

Second, as the saying goes give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, feed him for life.  Open University does exactly that.  For people who, for whatever reason, did not finish high school or could not get into college or are not able to pay for a higher education Open University opens its doors to them and allows them to learn and achieve so they can help themselves and be productive members of society.

To sum up we are all here on this earth for two reasons in my view.  To strive to make it a better world than when we arrived and to make a difference.

I feel that by helping Open University we achieve both goals.  By making a substantial difference in the lives of the students that attend who in turn make for a better, more productive and prosperous society.

With God’s help I hope to continue assisting Open University and many other institutions and on behalf of myself and my family thank you for this great honor.