The record crowd of 1,100 was held at rapt attention in the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom as New York Times columnist David Brooks offered his profound and compelling observations on achieving a life well lived.
The political and cultural commentator braced the audience for his thought-provoking presentation by repeating his oft-quoted mantra, "How to live a life of depth and meaning over success and achievement? One way to begin the journey is by asking yourself one simple, yet difficult, question, 'Am I living for my resumé or my eulogy?'"
Few, if any, left the ballroom untouched by his talk or unmoved by the luncheon program which honored Velva and Fred Levine for their personal humanity as well as for their years of support for the museum.
The highly-produced program, quite impressive for a luncheon, included videos on the museum's anti-bullying campaign carried out in local high schools and on the museum's Butterfly Project. Museum executive director Kelly Zuniga announced that the latter had reached its goal of creating 1.5 million butterflies in remembrance of the children who died during the Holocaust.
The program, for which Linda Lorelle served as emcee, included remarks by HMH board chair Gail Klein and introduction of the Levines by luncheon chairs Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein and presentation of the honor by fellow luncheon chairs Carol and Michael Goldberg. Their various efforts were rewarded with proceeds of $685,000.
Applauding the day were Rabbi Roy Walter, Mayor Annise Parker, Arthur Schechter, Ellen Cohen, Maryann and Jodie Hoffer, Danny David, Nancy Dinerstein, Fred Zeidman, Carol Sawyer, Cynthia and Richard Lowenstern, Barry Mandel, Heidi Vanderhider and Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff.