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Get a ‘First Look’ to aid Chicago charities

Wed, Feb 6, 2013

You have to be in attendance at the Chicago Auto Show’s ‘First Look for Charity’ to have a chance at winning this 2013 Buick Encore crossover

Beat the crowds while looking ‘Mar-vo-lous’ by attending one of Chicago’s largest one-day charity extravaganzas held at one of the Chicago’s most expansive venues.

The annual ‘First Look for Charity’ black tie preview returns for a 23rd consecutive year on Friday, February 8, a major highlight kicking off the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. It’s the less-crowded way to enjoy the scores of glistening new vehicles while sipping wine and enjoying some of the tastiest foods Chicago caterers have to offer. The night has garnered more than $34 million over the past two decades along with a smattering of morning-after headaches and heart aches.

This year’s event has the potential to generate a record amount of donations since the festivities moves from a Thursday evening to a more convenient Friday night at the huge McCormick Place showroom. Since many folks don’t have to wake up early the next day for work, school or church, closing time has been extended from 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Musical entertainment includes Beatles tribute group American English and cast members from the stage presentation of Million Dollar Quartet saluting Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. The show opens to the general public the following day, Saturday, Feb. 9.

Two lucky attendees will drive away with the evening’s door prizes drawn at random that night: a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover or 2013 Buick Encore crossover. Winners must be in attendance to claim their prize.

“The Chicago Auto Show is uniformly regarded as the finest auto show in the country, but the charitable cause demonstrates that this auto show is about more than just vehicles and accessories: it’s also about giving back to charities within our community,” said Michael Ettleson, 2013 Chicago Auto Show Chairman.

Tickets for the event are $250 per person of which an impressive 83 percent or $207 is tax-deductible as a charitable donation. This business model exceeds many similar-type functions since the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, sponsor of the auto show, assumes payment of the hearty catering tab, enabling worthy beneficiaries to retain maximum proportions of donations. The entire $250 contribution may be directed to one specific charity, or may be split among many.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover, one of two huge door prizes at this year’s Chicago Auto Show

Tickets may be picked up the same night as the gala at any one of the 18 represented charity rooms or kiosks inside McCormick Place. Advanced tickets for the event may also be purchased on line at chicagoautoshow.com and clicking the “First Look for Charity” link or by calling 630-495-2282.


• 100 Club of Chicago
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago
• Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
• Catholic Charities of the Joliet Diocese
• Clearbrook
• The Cradle Foundation
• Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
• Franciscan Community Benefit Services
• Franciscan St. James Health
• March of Dimes
• Misericordia
• Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
• Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
• Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities
• Respiratory Health Association
• Special Olympics Illinois
• Spina Bifida Association of Illinois
• Jesse White Tumbling Team

For those who may not be able to attend the Black-Tie event, but still feel in a giving mood when the 10-day Chicago Auto Show opens to the general public, there’s another charitable way to show support. A food drive benefitting A Safe Haven Foundation takes place Wednesday, Feb. 13 through Friday, Feb. 15. Bring three cans of non-perishable food in exchange for $4 off full admission price.


WHEN: 7-11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8

WHERE: McCormick Place North and South buildings, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

PRICE: $250 per ticket

TO PURCHASE: Visit drivechicago.com or call 630-495-2282

AUTO SHOW PUBLIC SHOW DATES - Saturday, Feb. 9 – Monday, Feb. 18, Opening 10 a.m. daily.

Written Dave Boe,
StreetWise Contributor


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