Arianna Huffington speaks at Center For HOPE

Event Co-Chairs, from left, Louise Vanderlip of Greenwich, Terri Walker of Rowayton and Jan Dilenschneider of Darien with Arianna Huffington.

Event Co-Chairs, from left, Louise Vanderlip of Greenwich, Terri Walker of Rowayton and Jan Dilenschneider of Darien with Arianna Huffington.

After years of working around the clock to build her website, The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington literally collapsed in 2007 due to exhaustion and lack of sleep.

Left with a broken cheekbone and a serious eye injury, Ms. Huffington used the accident as a wake-up call that forced her to re-evaluate the true meaning of success. She shared that story and others while speaking at a benefit for Family Centers, a Greenwich-based agency.

During her remarks at the Center for HOPE Luncheon on April 23, Ms. Huffington said that success is not measured by money and power alone. By taking stock in one’s own well-being, wisdom, wonder and ability to give, life can be more fulfilling.

“If we just value the first two metrics of success, money and power, we’ll never have enough,” she told an audience of more than 300 at the Woodway Country Club in Darien. “It’s like trying to sit on a two-legged stool. At some point, you’re going to fall off,” said Ms. Huffington.

Drawing from her new book, Thrive, Ms. Huffington also offered some practical advice to incorporate into one’s daily life to achieve balance, happiness and self-fulfillment. Some of these tips included finding more time for sleep and keeping smartphones and other devices out of the bedroom.

The Center for HOPE also honored Greenwich resident Barbara Netter with a Ray of HOPE Award for her work in advancing gene therapy-based cancer treatments. As the President of the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT) — a nonprofit organization she founded with her late husband, Edward, in 2001 — Ms. Netter has raised nearly $22.5 million for numerous gene therapy research initiatives around the world.

The luncheon, co-chaired Jan Dilenschneider of Darien, Louise Vanderlip of Greenwich and Terri Walker of Rowayton, raised more than $150,000 for the Center for HOPE and The Den for Grieving Kids — Family Centers’ critical illness and bereavement support programs.

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