News & Events


The 2016 Chicago Auto Show tonight raised more than $2.6 million for area charities, and the two people who won new vehicles both needed just seconds to claim their prizes. That came after two other people failed a five-minute deadline and new winners had to be selected.

Chicagoans Dorothy White and Michael Doherty happily took the keys to a 2016 Jeep Renegade and a 2016 Lincoln MKX, respectively. The ticket stubs of attendees are entered into a drum from which to draw for the prizes. For the first two stubs drawn, the time limit lapsed without the winners approaching the prize stage.

The event raised $2,610,280, the most in one year for the black-tie benefit since 2008. About 9,100 people attended First Look for Charity, which is held the evening before the auto show opens its nine-day public run.

“First Look for Charity, now in its 25th year, is a great instrument for the area’s new-car dealers to show the positive impact they have on their community,” said Colin Wickstrom, 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 fundraiser are $250 each, and purchasers can elect to have their proceeds equally benefit all 18 of the participating charities, or any of those for which they have an affinity. For the event, the auto show floor is replete with live entertainment and a variety of elegant food and beverage stations.

White wanted the proceeds of her ticket purchase to be shared by all the nonprofits; Doherty requested his funds be shared by six of them. A highlight of the evening is the drawing for the new vehicles, which are the event’s grand prizes and the auto show’s official vehicles.

Participating organizations in 2016 included 100 Club of Chicago, Advocate Health Care, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet, and Clearbrook.

Also, the Cradle Foundation, Franciscan Community Benefit Services, Franciscan St. James Health, the Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities, Illinois Spina Bifida Association, JDRF, and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

And, March of Dimes, Misericordia, Special Olympics Illinois, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.

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