Bill Morgan, Murry Bowden Receive Award
Two Master Builders of Our Community Honored as 2013 Guardians of the Human Spirit
HOUSTON, TX (Nov. 18, 2013) – Rarely do more than 1,250 people get quiet all at the same time, but that’s what happened when Holocaust Survivor Bill Morgan joined fellow developer Murry Bowden on the stage as Holocaust Museum Houston recognized the two as this year’s “Guardians of the Human Spirit” in recognition of their contributions to the quality of life in Houston.
2013 Guardian of the Human Spirit Luncheon
 Event Co-Chair Marc Shapiro, Honoree Murry Bowden, Honoree Bill Morgan and Event Co-Chair Michael Morgan

Morgan and Bowden received the honor on Monday, Nov. 18, at the Museum’s annual luncheon at the Hilton Americas-Houston. The crowd was a record turnout for a Museum luncheon, as was the final total raised – almost $900,000 – to help the Museum continue to teach the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Event Co-Chair Marc Shapiro said one reason “that Murry has so many close friends is that he cares about them. If you have a problem, Murry is the ‘go to’ guy, helping people think through their issues and reaching a favorable resolution. He supports his friends, telling me once that he had set aside a major part of his philanthropic dollars to support events or organizations that his friends were involved in. No truer example can be found of Emerson’s famous maxim: To have a friend, you must first be a friend.”

The crowd quickly became silent as co-recipient Morgan stepped to the stage to accept his award from son and Event Co-Chair Michael Morgan. The honoree shared his story of living “four lives with four different names” as he fled from Nazi persecution during World War II, losing his entire family in the process.

Dignitaries in the crowd included Houston City Council members Ellen Cohen and Steve Costello; State Rep. Sarah Davis; Arthur Schechter, former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas; former Houston City Council member Anne Clutterbuck; and former District Judge Susan Soussan.

Others in attendance included Museum Chair Mark Mucasey and Museum Executive Director Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga, Martine and Ricardo Weitz, Noralisa Martinez, David and Debra Boniuk, Jeri Shapiro and Polly Bowden, Beth Wolff and Ursula Muenzel, Bruce and Rhona Caress, Heidi and David Gerger, Sherry and Jim Smith, Bunny and Ivan Edelman, Corey Powell and Leisa Holland-Nelson.

Also on hand for the tribute were Martin Fein and Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein, Inna and Scott Wizig, and Holocaust Survivor Dr. Anna Steinberger and daughter Pauline Solnik.

The Museum established the Guardian of the Human Spirit award in 1997 as a platform for acknowledging dedicated Houstonians who have worked to enhance the lives of others and to better humankind.

Previous recipients of the award have included the Harry Mach family; KIPP founders Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg; Mayor Annise Parker, Barbara and Gerald Hines; Marc J. Shapiro; Lester and Sue Smith; Sandra Weiner and Martin Fein; Naomi Warren and Fred Zeidman; Joan and Stanford Alexander; Ed Wulfe and the H-E-B grocery chain; Jack Blanton and The Houston Chronicle; the Rev. William A. Lawson and Julie and Ben Rogers; Linda P. Lay and Siegi Izakson; and Ron Stone.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org
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