Through the Chicagoland Dealers Care initiative, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) - Chicagoland's new-car dealer association - recently donated $1,500 to the Hagerty Education Program to help fund student education in automotive restoration. The Chicagoland Dealers Care program was created by the CATA to support its member dealers' charitable initiatives by providing additional financial support and advocacy to those in need. In this case, Continental AutoSports rallied the Hinsdale community to raise $6,000 for the Hagerty Education Program and the dealership matched that amount.
"The No. 1 thing about life is passion, and I wholeheartedly believe in what we do," said Hagerty Education Program's National Director Diane Fitzgerald. "There is a great need for talented, skilled workers and we are filling the gap between formal education and shop-readiness. Thanks to Continental AutoSport's Owner and President John Weinberger and his wife Lisa, we were able to launch a new initiative locally, which drew CATA's generous support through the Chicagoland Dealers Care program. Together we are going to make a big difference in educational opportunities for young people interested in careers in automotive restoration & preservation."
The funds from Continental AutoSports and the CATA will directly support students in the Chicagoland area who are considering a career in automotive, with an emphasis on restoring older vehicles. The Hagerty Education Program is dedicated to the mission of ensuring that the critical skills and knowledge necessary to restore and preserve collector vehicles are not lost. Additionally, the program is committed to supporting hands-on, career-based training of skills and trades while promoting America's automotive heritage and the interests of the collector community.
Weinberger commented, "My wife Lisa and I are thrilled to support an organization like this and to continue to foster excitement for the automotive industry in general. One of the reasons Lisa and I started our private foundation was to support automotive education. We both race, rally and collect historic cars and are well aware that specialty cars need knowledgeable stewards - for example, mechanics, auctioneers, etc. - so the cars can be enjoyed by many future generations."
Charitable and civic organizations know the integral part a dealership plays in supporting its community; however, dealers are rarely recognized for their ongoing efforts.
"This is a prime example of the role in which Chicago-area dealers play to help support those in need right in their backyards while rallying support from the community," said CATA Vice Chairman John Hennessy.
The Chicago Automobile Trade Association has been a longtime supporter of local non-profit organizations. Since its inception in 2008, the Chicagoland Dealers Care program has donated more than $96,000 to local charitable organizations supported by new-car dealers. Additionally, since 1992, the association has raised $44 million for significant Chicago charities during the annual First Look for Charity black-tie event, held the evening before the Chicago Auto Show opens to the public.
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