2021 Guardian of the Human Spirit Luncheon

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2021 Guardian of the Human Spirit Luncheon honoring Punkin and Walter Hecht

Special Guest Speaker John Quiñones, ABC news veteran

November 9, 2021
Hilton Americas-Houston
Livestream option available

With more than 800 guests in attendance and many supporters viewing from home, together we raised $700,000 for Holocaust Museum Houston. With every dollar of your Luncheon support, you are providing engaging, year-round educational programs and outreach opportunities on campus and within the greater Houston community.

Thank you for an unforgettable Luncheon!

Each year, the Guardian of the Human Spirit Luncheon raises essential funds supporting Holocaust and Human Rights education for students, teachers, members and the public. Thank you for your support of Holocaust Museum Houston!

The 2021 Guardian of the Human Spirit Luncheon will be hosted in-person with a virtual livestreaming option and will honor Punkin and Walter Hecht, longtime patrons and one of the Museum’s founding supporters. As a couple and independently, they have championed many community causes. Beyond HMH, their service extends to the broader community, where they have both served on the Board of Trustees at Seven Acres and as board members, executive officers or volunteers for a variety of organizations including Congregation Beth Israel, the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Service, Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, Jewish Institute of Medical Research and the National Council of Jewish Women.

The luncheon will feature special guest speaker, John Quiñones, an ABC news veteran and creator and host of the hidden camera ethical dilemma newsmagazine What Would You Do?, now in its 14th season. A lifetime of “never taking no for an answer” took Quiñones from migrant farm work and poverty to ABC News and the anchor desk at 20/20 and Primetime. A pioneer with a news career spanning 35 years, his inspiring journey from a San Antonio barrio to network television delivers a powerful message of believing in one’s self, never giving up, and always, always doing the right thing. Quiñones is the author of two books, a recipient of seven Emmy Awards, and was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the Guerra Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists.

VIP Reception generously sponsored by
  • =Memorial Hermann
Media Sponsor
  • =PaperCity Magazine
Honorary Chairs
  • =Sofia Adrogué
  • =Clyde Drexler
  • =The Honorable Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge
  • =Bruce Stein
  • =The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston
Honorary Chair
  • =Lynn Wyatt
Luncheon Chairs
  • =Michele & Richard Deutsch
  • =Cheryl & Stephen Golub
  • =B.J. & Buddy Herz
  • =Gail & Milton Klein
Host Committee Chairs
  • =Eileen & Lenny Weisman
Host Committee
  • =Lisa & David Aaronson
  • =Gail & Louis K. Adler
  • =Liz & Jorge Altschuler
  • =Sheila Aron
  • =Sue Sue & Don Aron
  • =Kathy & Drew Berkman
  • =Tali & Eric Blumrosen
  • =Polly & Murry Bowden
  • =Kaki & Larry Buck
  • =Brian Caress
  • =Rhona & Bruce Caress
  • =Julie & John Cogan
  • =Nancy & Jack Dinerstein
  • =Denise & Steve Estrin
  • =Nancy & Richie Freed
  • =Karen & Buster Freedman
  • =Andrew Gardener
  • =Paula Goldstein
  • =Stacy & Luis Gomar
  • =Carol & Dr. Barry Goodfriend
  • =Nancy & James Gordon
  • =Sandi & Tom Hedrick
  • =Shelly & Brian Hendry
  • =Sam Jacobson
  • =Mady & Ken Kades
  • =Elyse & Lewis Kalmans
  • =Chris Kase
  • =Sandy & Van Lessig
  • =Mimi & Larry Levine
  • =Rosalyn & Barry Margolis
  • =Jackie & Dr. Malcolm Mazow
  • =Sherry & Gerald Merfish
  • =Edith Mincberg
  • =Marcia D. Murphey & Douglas D. Koch
  • =Laura B. & Roy W. Nichol
  • =Susie & Jeff Raizner
  • =Regina Rogers
  • =Bernyd & Richard Rosenberg
  • =Brenda & Mansel Rubenstein
  • =Limor & Stuart Smith
  • =Sue Smith
  • =Annette & Larry Sondock
  • =Joel Spira
  • =Lois & George Stark
  • =Anna Steinberger
  • =Ellen & Dan Trachtenberg
  • =Rona & L.A. Train
  • =Haya & Dr. Jacob Varon
  • =Joy & Benjamin Warren
  • =Carol & Michael Wilk
  • =Barbara Winthrop & Jay Steinfeld
  • =Inna Wizig
  • =Beth Wolff
  • =Cyvia Wolff
  • =Ed Wolff
  • =Susan & Dr. Robert Zeller
Since 1997, Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) has recognized dedicated individuals and organizations who have worked to enhance the lives of others with the Guardian of the Human Spirit Award. These individuals and organizations embody the mission of the Museum by demonstrating a true commitment to service and building an open-minded society for the enrichment of the local population.

Previous recipients of the award have included Dr. Milton Boniuk; the Astros Foundation; Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and Aggie Liberators of World War II; UT President Gregory L. Fenves and The University of Texas at Austin; Ric Campo; Velva G. and H. Fred Levine; Edith and Josef Mincberg, Bill Morgan and Murry Bowden; the Harry Mach family; KIPP founders Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg; former 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.


COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend this event. We respectfully request masks and physical distancing when not seated or actively eating or drinking.

Questions? Contact Amanda Shagrin at 713-527-1622 or spiritlunch@hmh.org