Friday, July 22, 2011

Special Event-Expect Delays at Exit 17

This morning, as I was driving to work, the above sign greeted me as I drove to work.  It was meant for those entering the Mass Pike from the Ted Williams tunnel. In spite of the fact, that I was heading down Rt. 93, the sign gave me pause.  The special event was really not a special event, but a funeral that was going to be held a few hours later in Newton.  There was good reason to expect delays because when a good person or a young person is buried, their funeral attracts many mourners. Today a very good person was buried and she was taken from us too young.Myra Hiatt Kraft, a powerful local philanthropist and wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, died at 68 on July 20 after a battle with cancer. Never simply a boardroom benefactor, she staffed phone banks for fund-raising drives and made persuasive calls when a cause needed the kind of financial boost only the rich can provide. Take a look back at the philanthropist's life and achievements.

Many wonderful things have been said about Myra Hiatt Kraft and as many of us have learned, they were all true. She was a woman devoted to her family and to philanthropy. Many of of her causes were born out of her own experiences. Her father's parents, sisters and brother were exterminated in Nazi concentration camps and she grew up with a devotion to Israel and to Brandeis, from which she later graduated. Her commitment to philanthropy was not limited to Jewish causes, in fact, Boston College, Holy Cross and Catholic Charities received major support from her generosity. And then there were the countless secular causes, most notable the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.
I never met Myra, but I felt her presence. While I loved seeing her cheer loudly for our New England Patriots, it was the knowledge of her many acts of selfless kindness, that made me proud she lived among us. I was not among the mourners at Temple Emannuel in Newton this morning but I join the millions across the globe who will miss her.

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