Eighteen Chicago area charities will benefit from more than $2.5 million expected to be raised by a black-tie gala held in conjunction with the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Now in its 25th year, First Look for Charity is held the evening before the auto show opens to the public.
The coming "First Look" event, on Feb. 12, gives benefactors the chance to see hundreds of new vehicles on display amid an elegance not present when crowds converge on McCormick Place during the auto show's nine-day consumer run, Feb. 13-21. First Look for Charity has become one of the special events on the winter schedules of Chicago socialites and car buffs. About 10,000 attendees at the charity gala will be treated to hors d'oeuvres; champagne, wine, beer and soft drinks; and special entertainment presented by the automakers in their displays.
Complementing the culinary efforts of Savor, McCormick Place's in-house caterer, are a host of notable Chicago restaurants, including Adobo Grill, Frontier, Joe's Seafood Chicago, Miss Ricky's, New England Seafood Co., Porkchop, Real Urban Barbecue, Shen Yun, Texas de Brazil, Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, and ZED451.
Spirits will be poured by Brown-Forman, Ménage à Trois Vodka, Sugar Island Rum, Tres Agaves Tequila, and Trinchero Family Estates. Benefactors in attendance also have the chance to win a 2016 Lincoln Black Label MKX or a 2016 Jeep Renegade.
"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," said Colin Wickstrom, chairman of the 2016 show. "It's also about giving something to the charities of our community."
The 18 organizations participating in this year's First Look for Charity predominantly are children-oriented. Some operate on a global level; others, locally. This year's roster includes 100 Club of Chicago, Advocate Health Care, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet.
Also, Clearbrook, The Cradle, Franciscan Community Benefit Services, Franciscan St. James Health, the Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities, the Illinois Spina Bifida Association, and JDRF.
And, Lurie Children's Hospital, March of Dimes, Misericordia, Special Olympics Illinois, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.
Tickets to the event are $250 each and can be ordered at www.firstlookforcharity.org. Attendees can direct the proceeds of their purchase to any or all of the benefiting charities. Of each ticket, $203 is tax-deductible as a charitable expense.