Best Parties of 2011? Auto Show's First Look for Charity rates the #3 Slot with an eye for the lead

Posted by: Michelle Ferm

First Look for Charity, the Chicago Auto Show's benevolent black-tie pre-public opening soiree' not only made the list for the "Best Parties in 2011" on, but actually rated preferences with voters enough to rate the third best of the year!

First Look for Charity stands as one of Chicago's greatest one-day fundraisers, regularly generating about $2 million for 18 area nonprofits. Held the evening before the Chicago Auto Show opens its 10-day public run, the event-now in its 20th year-is eagerly anticipated by socialites, car buffs and party seekers alike.

Andy Greiner of NBC Chicago said, "Marcus Riley, our 'Scene' editor-and man about town-selected these parties based on how much traffic they received during the week in which they ran (think most viewed story).  "First Look" drove awesome page view traffic for as it should. It's a great event."

"This year we're stepping up the entertainment, too," said show chairman Steve Foley Jr. "In addition to the extensive wine, champagne, extensive hors d'oeuvres, desserts all set among the most beautiful show in America, patrons will be able to enjoy a full hour of music from 'Blues Traveler.' It should be a blast, especially after giving away a new Cadillac SRX and a second Cadillac Escalade! What could be better? We're doing all we can to top this list for 2012!"

Mike Ettleson, co-chairman of the event, added that the food for the night will be a showcase of great sponsors from around the city.

"We're firming up the list now, but you'll see very familiar names of high-end restaurants who have graciously donated their time and talents to help make First Look the standard by which all others are judged," commented Ettleson. "We should point out, too, that very few charities deliver the high percentage of donations to the charities via ticket price as we do. Show organizers and the Chicago Auto Trade Association step up to foot the bill for the vast majority of the costs-and that's a real testament to their community involvement."

Tickets for the event are $250 each and available in advance by visiting or

If you haven't been to the event and would like a video taste, watch our promotional video for First Look for Charity here -->

Here is the full list of Best Parties of 2011 in Chicago.

20. Cee Lo Headlines Macy's Glamorama
19. Grey Goose's Memorial Day Yacht Party
18. Chicago Halloween Festivities
17. Volleywood 2011 (Beach volleyball)
16. North Coast Music Festival
15. Factor Women's Anniversary Party
14. Zoe Saldana sightings at the Public Hotel Grand Opening
13. Cee Lo's Surprise Studio Paris Set
12. St. Patricks Day Shenanigans
11. Dave Matthews Band Caravan
10. Maxim Magazine's Chicago Bash
9. Wicker Park Fest
8. Santa Speedo Run
7. Ford Models' Crimson Lounge Bash
6. Gay Pride Parade
5. Detention Nightclub's Grand Opening Party
4. World's Largest Speed Dating Event
3. First Look for Charity 2011
2. Akira's 2011 Spring Runway Show
1. The night Lollapalooza came to a conclusion.



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