Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Auto Show revs up for 18 local charities

Jenny G. Jackson and Clayton Johnson

Nearly 10,000 guests attended the black-tie opening-night celebration of the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 8 at McCormick Place. Raising $2.8 million for 18 local charities, the 28th annual First Look for Charity offered attendees a preview of more than 1,000 cars, trucks and SUVs and included a variety of interactive exhibits, live entertainment and more.

The evening began with receptions hosted by nonprofits, including the 100 Club of Chicago, Advocate Health Care, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Clearbrook, The Cradle, Susan G. Komen-Chicago, March of Dimes, Misericordia, Special Olympics Illinois, Jesse White Tumbling Team and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Attendees could allocate their ticket purchases to a charity of their choice.

Partygoers admired the industry’s latest models and concept vehicles, drove on four indoor and six outdoor test tracks, listened to live music that included the sounds of the Four C Notes in the Ford display, sampled tastings from some of the city’s top restaurants and enjoyed a red carpet hosted by Windy City Live co-hosts Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini and an onstage presentation emceed by WLS-Ch 7’s Judy Hsu and Rob Elgas.

“This is one of Chicago’s premier fundraising events, and it’s a great instrument for the area’s new car dealers to show the positive impact they have on their community. All the benefiting charities are involved locally, so the money that’s raised in Chicago stays in Chicago,” said Ray Scarpelli Jr., Chicago Auto Show chairman.

With over 1 million square feet of show floor space, the Chicago Auto Show is the nation’s largest. Since its debut in 1992, First Look for Charity has raised more than $53 million for local charities.

Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved in many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.

Twitter @CandidCandace

Read More