Just as last year, clouds of colorful butterflies floated overhead at Deutsch & Deutsch jewelers as Holocaust Museum Houston unveiled the annual What I Could Have Been butterfly calendar. But this year, there was a special presentation involved. NASA astronaut Rex Walheim gifted the museum with a butterfly drawing that he created while in space on the final Space Shuttle mission in July.
Drawings for the Butterfly Project, created by school children and interested parties around the world, are being collected by the Houston museum in remembrance of the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust.
Walheim provided his butterfly not only in remembrance of the children but also in honor of the late astronaut Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut and the son of a Holocaust survivor. Roman died in 2003 aboard the Shuttle Columbia when it crashed during re-entry.
Walheim's contribution will be on public display at the Museum's Morgan Family Center beginning Nov. 1 and continuing through Dec. 31 before being added to the museum's institutional archives in advance of the full exhibit of all 1.5 million butterflies.
Patti Kagan and Erica Levit chaired the evening that served to launch the 2012 calendar that is available in the museum store.
Among those attending were Holocaust Museum Houston board chair Tali Blumrosen, museum executive director Susan Myers, Holocaust survivor Ruth Steinfeld, Deutsch & Deutsch hosts Robin and Lance Deutsch, Punkin and Walter Hecht, Benjy Levit, Karen and Byron Hood and Cindy and Sean Collins.