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Chicago Auto Show charity benefit raises $2.3 million for 18 Charities

Eighteen area charities tonight shared in more than $2.3 million raised by the 2014 Chicago Auto Show’s benevolent event, First Look for Charity, and two attendees left with the keys to new vehicles.

About 9,000 people attended First Look for Charity, helping to raise $2,334,623. The event is held the evening before the annual auto show opens its 10-day public run.

“First Look for Charity is a great instrument for the area’s new-car dealers to show the positive impact they have on their community,” said Kurt Schiele, chairman of this year’s auto show. “All the benefiting charities are involved locally, so the money that’s raised in Chicago stays in Chicago.”

As the name of the event implies, those who attend First Look for Charity are part of the premier viewing of each year’s Chicago Auto Show. Tickets to the fund-raiser are $250 each, and purchasers can elect to have their proceeds equally benefit all participating charities, or any one charity for which they have an affinity. For the event, the auto show floor is replete with a variety of food and beverage stations.

A highlight of the evening this year was the drawing for two grand prize vehicles: a 2014 Toyota Corolla and a 2014 Toyota Highlander. This year’s event awarded the Corolla to Ed Burke, of Naperville; and the Highlander to Mario Pacheco, of Chicago.

Misericordia, one of the participating charities, benefited doubly from Burke’s presence. First, Burke donated the proceeds of his ticket purchase to benefit the home to more than 600 children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities. Then, upon winning the car, Burke said he would donate the Corolla to the nonprofit.

Pacheco said he usually takes an annual trip to his native Mexico to visit his brothers. Now, Pacheco said he is excited to have a new vehicle in which to take the trip. Pacheco’s ticket purchase benefited the Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities.

Other organizations participating in the 2014 First Look for Charity included the 100 Club of Chicago, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet, Clearbrook, The Cradle Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Franciscan Community Benefit Services.

Also, Franciscan St. James Health, the Illinois Spina Bifida Association, JDRF, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, March of Dimes, Special Olympics Illinois, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.

First Look for Charity and the Chicago Auto Show are presented by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, representing the new-car dealers of Chicagoland and northwest Indiana.

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