Bonnie McElveen-Hunter (2018 Women of Distinction honoree) , Audrey Gruss, Laurie Silvers, Candy Carson (2018 Women of Distinction honoree)
We are proud to announce that Hope for Depression Research (HDRF) founder and Chair Audrey Gruss recently was honored at the 2019 Women of Distinction luncheon by Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University in Florida.
The luncheon, held February 19 at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, is an annual event in its 28th year that honors women who have made significant contributions to the community. Proceeds fund scholarships for young women at the University.
In her remarks, Gruss told the 450 people gathered for the luncheon about her resolve to launch the Hope for Depression Research Foundation in 2006. It was the pain of watching her own mother struggle with severe depression for over 30 years, Gruss explained, that opened her eyes to her life’s greater purpose.
“I saw a vital need for funding a new way of approaching brain research” she said. With a biology degree from Tufts and an extensive career in international marketing, she was up for the challenge. Today, HDRF is the leading non-profit dedicated solely to depression research and education.
This work has been guided by a key piece of life wisdom Gruss shared: “Take on something difficult and negative, and turn it into a positive. The difficult things in life can become your personal challenge.”
Reflecting on the arc of her life Gruss named two other of her biggest lessons: the value of education and the joy of giving.
“You can lose everything tangible at any moment, but no one can ever take away your education,” Gruss said. “To the students who are here today, I say you are in the right place to start your life’s journey.”
She concluded by citing substantial scientific evidence that engaging in acts of generosity can actually increase one’s own sense of well-being.
“By being generous to others,” she said, “You not only benefit them, but also yourself.”
Gruss was honored as a Woman of Distinction along with Boca Raton resident Laurie Silvers. We salute her for her energy, compassion and visionary leadership.