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Celebrating life with the Keith Hamm Foundation and the Michigan Humane Society’s Bow Wow Brunch

Keith Hamm Foundation 2nd Annual Charity FundraiserThis past weekend I was lucky enough to attend two very special fundraising events. They both made me realize that caring people are not a silent minority and that change can happen if we want it to.

The first event, the Keith Hamm Foundation’s annual fundraiser, was a truly amazing night (I went this past Saturday night).  Here’s a little background.

Last year I wrote about Quicken Loans VP Mark Miller being named the Michigan Lymphoma and Leukemia Society’s Man of the Year for organizing the Keith Hamm Foundation, dedicated to the discovery of a cure for blood-borne cancers. Mark and his close friends created the Keith Hamm Foundation as a lasting memorial to Keith, who died of cancer last year.

This year’s fundraiser was a great success and generated over $20,000 for cancer research.

It was a really touching and fun event and the food (catfish, BBQ
chicken, and other southern style foods – Keith’s favorites) was great.
I’m not kidding. The BBQ chicken was really good. 

I was amazed at the level of love and caring in the room. As I told Mark, "the love in the air was thick."

One of the highlights of the evening (along with my winning a Detroit Tigers Fathead), was 13-year old cancer survivor Paige Hackenberger (pictured above on the right with her mom). Paige spoke of her fight (and victory) over cancer and read a very touching tribute letter to Keith. She is an extremely bright young lady and it was so refreshing to hear her speak of hope and recovery from this terribly devastating disease.

And it wouldn’t be possible without fundraisers and organizations like the Keith Hamm Foundation, which help fund the Michigan Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, giving it the badly needed resources to help others. Others like Paige who only want another chance at life. Another day to be happy and healthy. And she was both. She is a true success story.

Michigan Humane Society's Bow Wow BrunchThe next day I attended the Michigan Humane Society’s Bow Wow Brunch and man, was it a snazzy affair. I’m talking Ritz Carlton fancy. The guest speaker was radio personality and author Mark Levin. I even bought a copy of his book, Rescuing Sprite, from which donates a nice chunk of revenue to the Humane Society.

Shoot, even uber car executive and larger-than-life super blogger Bob Lutz was there. I wanted to go over and tell him I work on a blog too – "Hey Bob, what’s up man? We have something in common. You write for a blog for GM. I write for a blog for Quicken Loans."

But I didn’t.

I mean, his wife had a broken leg and I didn’t want to barge in on their privacy. Besides, it wasn’t about Bob or me, it was about the animals. And I’m pleased to say, I didn’t see a fur in the place. Well, all fur was still being worn by the original owner, if you know what I mean.

There was this dog there that I almost took home. Missy. Oh my gosh, she was a darling. I just can’t handle another dog. I already have two (one from the Humane Society, one from the side of the expressway). 

So, all in all it was a pretty rewarding weekend for me. Helping important causes is something we all should do more of. Groups like the Humane Society and people like Mark Miller can only do so much on their own.

With all of our help and generosity, their dreams for a better world can be a reality.

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  1. Clayton thank you for supporting the event and for the great article. We all felt very fortunate to have Paige speak that night.Thank you to everyone who helped make a difference.

    Posted by: Mark Miller | April 17, 2008
  2. Thanks, Clay, for a great article and for helping to spread the word about these important fund raisers. I was able to attend the Keith Hamm Foundation fundraiser as well (nice to see you there!), and it was truly an amazing event. Even in this difficult economy, so many people gave and gave. Thank you again for spreading the word and helping raise money for Lukemia and Lymphoma :-)

    Posted by: Jenna | April 17, 2008
  3. Clay, thank you so much for your incredible support of the Keith Hamm Foundation!!!

    Posted by: Nicole | April 17, 2008
  4. I attended both last year’s and this years Keith Hamm fund raiser. I am truly inspired by Mark Miller and how much he cares. They were awesome nights. I laughed and cried and hopefully helped to make a difference for someone else who is fighting this disease. Mark you are an amazing person. All I can say is thank you.

    Posted by: Cindy | April 17, 2008
  5. Clay, thank you for writing such a great piece about the Keith Hamm benefit event. This is going to help raise awareness for a great cause. I am so glad you enjoyed the evening…and won the Fathead! :)

    Posted by: Nici | April 17, 2008
  6. Clayton is such a good guy, he has agreed to donate that Fathead he won to Savage Elementary School so they can raffle it off and raise money for the school! What a great guy!

    Posted by: Chris Kaufman | April 17, 2008
  7. Thanks to everyone for the time and efforts to keep my twin brother’s life or death not meaningless. I have struggled myself with his death and when I see people gathering and giving in his namesake for a great cause I am overwhelmed with emotion; both with great pride and such heartbreak. He is so missed in my life. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and cry. Part of me died that day also, I haven’t found the power to turn this loss of mine to something so great. However, I do want to thank everyone that keeps his spirit and namesake alive.

    Posted by: Kenneth M. Hamm | November 20, 2008

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018