Building a home for a family in need in just seven days takes planning, skill, great materials and a helping hand from the best local suppliers. Hein Electric Supply Co., Milwaukee, rose to the challenge, providing all of the electrical materials for the Koepke home in Dundee, Wis., recently featured on ABC's reality show “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.”

On the show, which is in its fourth season, a home is rebuilt with the help of team leader Ty Pennington and a host of designers, carpenters, local builders, contractors and suppliers. The excitement mounts as a run-down house, which would take at least four months to renovate, is rebuilt from the ground up in just a week. In the all-important “reveal,” TV viewers witness the emotional reaction of family members as they see their new home for the first time.

A home for his family was the last wish of husband and father of four Matthew Koepke, who passed away from melanoma in August. To build the 3,200 square foot home, Extreme Makeover Home Edition enlisted the help of local builder Monarch Homes, which turned to its electrical contractor, Electrical Connections. Chris Schafer there took the call, and reached out to Brookfield, Wis.-based Hein Electric Supply.

“They asked us if we might be willing to contribute some materials,” recalls Ron Kohlenberg, Hein Electric president and CEO. “We told them we would be happy to provide everything electrical.”

Hein's Waukesha branch manager Frank Zindars took charge of the project, donating a week of his vacation time. Virtually all of the electrical materials, about $25,000-worth in all, were supplied, including Encore Wire, Pass & Seymour receptacles, switches, plates and boxes, Halo recessed lighting, Broan ventilation products and Lutron dimmers. Zindars made sure everything was trucked directly to the site, and extra materials were provided, since the fast-paced project wouldn't allow time to order additional supplies.

Kohlenberg participated in the VIP walk-through before the family saw the new home, and was suitably impressed with the workmanship: “They used great materials and the construction work was outstanding.”

Aside from an inside look at the fast-paced world of a network reality show, the project was personally gratifying. “I'm glad that we could help,” says Kohlenberg. “We consider community service to be an important part of being an independent, locally owned electrical distributor.”

Hein Electric Supply Co., which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, has nine southeast Wisconsin locations. For more information, visit www.hein.com.

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