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Annual Pam Posthumus Signature Auction Breaks Record

A sell-out crowd attended the event, raising money to expand prevention programs in all 83 Michigan counties.

The 20th annual Pam Posthumus Signature Auction Event held by Children Trust Michigan Tuesday at the Michigan State University Breslin Center set a fundraising record, earning more than $1 million for programs around the state to prevent child abuse and neglect.

A sell-out crowd of 800 people attended the event, raising money to expand prevention programs in all 83 Michigan counties. Guests with winning bids went home with a variety of prized items, from sports and concert tickets to travel packages.

The previous record raised by the auction was $564,348 in 2013.

Children Trust Michigan is the new name for the child abuse prevention organization previously known as the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund, which announced the change during Tuesday night’s event

Funds from the auction pay for programs such as parent support and education, fatherhood programs, family resource centers and adverse childhood experiences prevention. All private donations and state funding are eligible to be multiplied through Children Trust Michigan federal funding.

The event is named after the late Pam Posthumus, a long-time advocate for child safety and well-being. She was appointed to the Children’s Trust Fund board of directors in 1997 and became its chair in 2002.

Pam Posthumus was the wife of former Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, who was one of three Champions for Children Award honorees recognized at the event for their contributions to child abuse and neglect prevention. Dick Posthumus was a champion of the legislation that cleared the way for the Children’s Trust Fund. He was elected to the state Senate in 1982 and became lieutenant governor under former Gov. John Engler in 1998.

Children Trust Michigan – which is within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – honored three others with the Champions for Children Award. They were:

  • S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow: Stabenow has been a tireless advocate for child welfare and well-being since her years in the Michigan Legislature. The Democrat was elected to the Michigan House in 1979 before winning a state Senate seat in 1991. She successfully ran for the U.S. House in 1996 and served one term before winning the seat in the upper chamber she has held since 2001.
  • Former Gov. Bill Milliken: There was no hesitation when Milliken signed Public Act 250 of 1982 into law creating the Children’s Trust Fund. The Republican was the longest-serving governor in Michigan’s history. Widespread popularity elevated him to more than three full four-year terms leading the state from 1969 to 1983. He died in 2019.
  • Former House Speaker Curtis Hertel Sr.: First elected to the Michigan House in 1980, Hertel also served as one of the driving forces behind the bipartisan effort that led to the creation of the Children’s Trust Fund. The Democrat’s across-the-aisle approach and work ethic served the residents of Michigan well through the time he left the Legislature in 1998. Hertel Sr. died in 2016.

The annual auction was made possible by the generosity of the state of Michigan, Michigan Legislature and sponsors such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the DTE Foundation, Cinnaire and Jackson life insurance.

The honorary 2022 auction co-chairs were Amy Loepp, Children Trust Michigan board chair, and Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Together they were committed to leveraging their knowledge and networks to make this year’s event the biggest success yet.

To learn more about Children Trust Michigan, its efforts to end child abuse, and where its programs and services can be found near your community, visit www.michigan.gov/childrentrustmichigan.

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