Society / Featured Parties

True Guardians of the Human Spirit Celebrated in Emotional Holocaust Museum Houston Event

Virtual, But Still Packed With Feeling — and Powerful Stories

BY // 11.12.20

What: Holocaust Museum Houston Guardian of the Human Spirit event

Where: Virtually

PC Moment: Highlight of the streamed event was the keynote address from Holocaust survivor, psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Edith Eger. She was a teenager in Hungary when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber, but she and her sister survived. Her memoir, The Choice – Embrace the Possible, became an international bestseller.

Equally compelling was presentation of the Guardian of the Human Spirit Award to Dr. Milton Boniuk, humanitarian, philanthropist and author. His philanthropy has extended from Holocaust Museum Houston to Rice University to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and beyond. The award is presented to individuals and organizations that “embody the mission of the museum by demonstrating a commitment to service and building an open-minded society for the enrichment of the local population.”

While many viewed the program from home, HMH CEO Kelly J. Zúñiga and board chair Carl Josehart hosted a small watch party and socially-distanced luncheon for the honoree, his guests and the event chairs. The 42-minute presentation was produced by Cut to Create with graphics by Vision Productions.

Contributing to the prestige of the virtual fundraiser, which brought in $575,000, were honorary chairs Dr. Marc L. Boom, Houston Methodist president and CEO, and David W. Leebron, president of Rice University and event chairs Debra and Steven Cohen, Leisa Holland Nelson and Bob Bowman, Elyse and Lewis Kalmans and Drs. Ann and Timothy Stout. Also contributing to the event’s success were host committee chairs Abby Daniels and Debbie Tummins.

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Previous recipients of the prestigious award have included Barbara and Gerald Hines, Marc Shapiro, the Harry Mach family, Edith and Josef Mincberg, KIPP founders Dave Levin and Michael Feinberg, Sue and Lester Smith, the Astros Foundation, Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and Aggie Liberators of World War II.

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