2013 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
Rod Grams’ widow, Christine Grams, accepts the award on his behalf.
The Minneapolis Division posthumously honors Rod Grams, a former U.S. congressman and Senator who contributed his time and expertise to a number of community organizations after leaving public office in 2000. Accepting the award is his wife, Christine Grams.
In 2002, Minnesota became the seventh state to adopt the A.M.B.E.R. Alert statewide missing child alert system. Senator Grams played a key role in introducing the alert system to Minnesota by bringing law enforcement and media partners together to agree to the A.M.B.E.R. Alert proposal. Senator Grams also championed a key Minnesota law that released the media from liability if any information in an A.M.B.E.R. Alert or other emergency broadcast later proved to be inaccurate.
Since the program’s inception, 28 A.M.B.E.R. Alerts have been issued in the state, and all 28 children have been located. Minnesota also has a second-tier alert plan for missing child cases that do not meet the stringent A.M.B.E.R. Alert criteria, which has become known as the Minnesota Model. Because the model is so effective, it has been adopted by other states nationwide.
Senator Grams volunteered with many community organizations during and after his time in the U.S. Senate. He served on the board of directors for the Center for Victims of Torture, worked with Catholic Charities, and was involved with Mission 500, an organization that worked to end child hunger. In October 2013, Senator Grams lost his battle with cancer, leaving behind a great legacy.