When Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Amy Loepp as the board chair of the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund a couple of years ago, it became a learning experience for her husband, Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Dan Loepp, too.
And what he learned convinced him even more that the CTF was the right organization on which to put the power of BCBS’s charitable focus. That focus will be on full display 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, when CTF hosts its 20th annual Pam Posthumus Signature Auction Event.
The event returns to East Lansing and features an auction that provides funding to expand prevention programs in all 83 Michigan counties. Guests with winning bids can go home with a wealth of prized items, from sports and concert tickets to travel packages and more.
Amy and Dan Loepp are the honorary co-chairs for the auction.
“It’s been interesting for me. We’ve worked with the Capuchins, with the Parkinson’s Foundation … we like to have a statewide impact,” said Dan Loepp, whose father suffered from Parkinson’s. “CTF has a statewide impact, we’re a statewide company, so it makes a lot of sense to connect with the various charities. This is a great fit.”
The event seeks to raise $550,000 in critical funds for the work of the Children’s Trust Fund, which is within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 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 the Children’s Trust Fund’s federal funding.
“In honor of the 20th annual Pam Posthumus Auction as well as celebrating the Children’s Trust Fund’s 40th anniversary serving Michigan, we are thrilled to announce that this event will return to the campus of Michigan State University in the legendary Breslin Center. This auction is a tribute to Pam Posthumus’ heart and commitment to this mission,” said Children’s Trust Fund Executive Director Suzanne Greenberg.
The funding raised through this auction will strengthen families and communities across the state by educating and supporting them to create environments where children can be safe, happy and healthy.”
The Loepps say they are committed to leveraging their knowledge and networks to make this year’s event the biggest success yet.
“The wide range of resources made possible by this gala will protect children and support families throughout Michigan,” Amy Loepp said. “The Children’s Trust Fund applauds the sponsors who’ve committed to this event and looks forward to partnering with more groups as we work to fulfill our vital mission.”
Four key supporters of child abuse prevention will be honored at the event.
“These four visionaries have always understood that children are the future of our great state, and that healthy and happy families are the bedrock upon which our neighborhoods and communities are built,” Greenberg said. “Their foresight and dedication to ensure children have safe todays and brighter tomorrows is as inspiring as it is empowering for all of us to do and be better. We want to thank and recognize them for their commitment and service in creating a Michigan where hope and fulfillment are always within reach when we act to take positive steps together.”
- U.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 a 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. Milliken died at his home in Traverse City in 2019.
- Former Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus: A champion of the legislation that cleared the way for the Children’s Trust Fund, Posthumus was elected to the state Senate in 1982 and became lieutenant governor under former Gov. John Engler in 1998. The annual auction is named in memory of the Republican’s late wife, Pam Posthumus, who was 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.
- 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.
“As evidenced by our four honorees this year, prevention of child abuse and neglect is not a partisan issue in the same way it is not a racial or socioeconomic issue,” Greenberg said. “Protecting Michigan children and building stronger Michigan families is a concern that affects everyone and is an issue that can and should unite us all in a common cause.”
The event is 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.
To register for the event or donate, visit CTFAuction.cbo.io.
To learn more about Children’s Trust Fund, its efforts to end child abuse, and where its programs and services can be found near your community, visit michigan.gov/CTF.