Planned 343-foot flagpole honors 343 fallen 9/11 first responders
Online PR News – 16-June-2012 – Lake Park – When the Town of Lake Park (FL) on June 5 turned down Earl Stewart’s request to install the tallest flagpole in the United States at his Toyota dealership in their municipality, it wasn’t the first time this businessman had heard no. But, in true Earl Stewart fashion, it is also not the first time he has continued to pursue a concept or an idea that he felt has merit, despite the naysayers.
“I've been told all my life that I can't do things,” Stewart, who is the owner of Earl Stewart Toyota, the largest volume car dealer in Palm Beach County (FL) and the 12 largest volume Toyota dealer in the U.S. “But I do them anyway and do it successfully.”
Stewart points to his experience of building his dealership into the success it is today and his unorthodox approach to customer service as examples of concepts that were ridiculed. “People laughed when I told them I would become the largest volume car dealer in Palm Beach County because my dealership is in the tiny town of Lake Park with a population of about 9,000,” he said. “I was also told that I would never dare put red phones all around my company so that any customer could call me personally anytime. They said the same thing about giving my home telephone and cell phone numbers to all of my customers.”
Stewart said he proved his critics wrong then and will prove them wrong again as he moves forward with plans to build a 343-foot tall flagpole to fly a large American flag to honor the 343 first responders who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Stewart received further inspiration for his latest project during a meeting June 5 with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who Stewart said he will invite to speak at the inaugural flag raising.
Stewart believes the nation’s tallest flagpole will become an attraction which will bring recognition to the Town of Lake Park, Palm Beach County and the State of Florida. He plans to appeal his rejection by the Town of Lake Park, but if the town commission continues to deny approval for the project, he plans to erect it in another nearby locale. “I'm confident that other local municipalities would be honored to be the home of such a tribute to our first responders who willingly gave their lives to save other Americans,” Stewart said.
Stewart is not new to controversy. He has been criticized for airing Spanish language TV commercials for his dealership on non-Spanish language stations, drawing the ire of critics from around the nation. However, his approach of reaching out to potential customers in their first language proved to be successful. Likewise, he was one of the few car dealers in the nation to publicly address Toyota’s recall of millions of cars for a supposed faulty accelerator. He did not believe the recall was valid, but nevertheless provided free accelerator modifications to his customers, expanding business hours and even travelling to customers’ homes to perform the modifications. An investigation found the recall, as Stewart thought, to be unnecessary, but he led the nation in explaining the situation honestly to his customers and acting quickly to allay their fears and concerns.
Stay tuned to see when and where Stewart builds the nation’s tallest flagpole to honor the fallen first responders of 9/11.
Those who know him and know his tenacity won’t bet against him.
For more information, visit www.earlstewarttoyota.com or call Earl Stewart on his cell phone at 561-358-1474.