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2023 Chicago Auto Show Gala Set to Raise Millions For 18 Area Charities

The Chicago Auto Show’s 31st First Look for Charity black-tie gala will take place on Friday, Feb. 10 from 7-11 p.m. at McCormick Place. The gala, produced by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), the organization that represents local new-car dealers, is expected to bring in at least $2 million for 18 Chicago area charities. 

This premier fundraising event offers car buffs and socialites alike a first chance to experience the Chicago Auto Show amid an elegance not present when the general public converge on McCormick Place during the auto show’s 10-day consumer run, Feb. 11-20. Attendees will be treated to a variety of gourmet food and drink stations from local restaurants, specialty cocktails, and live entertainment presented by the automakers in their displays. The 2023 Chicago Auto Show is shaping up to be one of the most experiential yet, offering the most indoor test tracks than ever before—a total of seven indoors—and outdoor test drives on city streets. In addition, the event will expand once gain to a two-hall show, reenlisting brands that missed during the pandemic.

Gala attendees also have the chance to walk away with the keys to one of two brand-new vehicles:  a 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid and a 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, compliments of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda dealers and Chicagoland Subaru dealers. 

“First Look for Charity is a cornerstone event of the Chicago Auto Show and demonstrates new-car dealers’ strong commitment to caring for their communities,” said Kevin Keefe, Chicago Auto Show chairman. “It’s truly a special night filled with dancing, wonderful food and, most importantly, a sense of pride for the impact this event has on those who need it the most, supporting the people right here in our backyards.”

Over the last 30 years, First Look for Charity has raised more than $58 million for the participating local charities. The CATA and new-car dealers also support charities year-round, through a program called Chicagoland Dealers Care. Chicagoland Dealers Care helps match donations made by CATA dealer members to charities within their communities.

The 2023 First Look for Charity beneficiaries include: 100 Club of Illinois; Advocate Health Care; the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago; Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet; Franciscan Community Benefit Services; Glenwood Academy; Habitat for Humanity; the Jesse White Tumbling Team; Lydia Home & Safe Families for Children; and Misericordia; New Star; Special Olympics Illinois; Susan G. Komen, Chicago; and Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.

Tickets to the event are $275 each and can be purchased at or via 630-495-2282.  Benefactors are able to indicate which charity or charities they want their donation to benefit. They may also choose to split the donation evenly among the 18. Of each ticket, $250 is tax-deductible as a charitable expense.

For more information, please visit For more about the CATA’s Chicagoland Dealers Care program, visit

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