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Chicago Auto Show's 2024 First Look for Charity Gala Set to Raise Millions for 18 Chicagoland Organizations

The Chicago Auto Show’s 32nd First Look for Charity gala will take place on Friday, Feb. 9, from 7-11 p.m. at McCormick Place. The gala is produced by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), the organization that represents local new-car dealers, and raises at least $2 million annually for 18 Chicago area charities.  

This black-tie affair offers an exclusive, first chance to experience the Chicago Auto Show ahead of the 10-day public opening at McCormick Place on Feb. 10. Guests will be treated to a variety of gourmet food and drink stations from local restaurants, specialty cocktails, and live music across the show floor. Participating restaurant and beverage sponsors include, but are not limited to, Andy’s Frozen Custard, Aviation Gin, Baileys Irish Cream, Beyond Catering, Biteable Baked Goods, Bumbu Rum, Carnivale, Catered by Design, Don Juilo, ERIS Ciderhouse and Brewery, Goose Island, Michael’s Grill and Salad Bar, Norman’s Bistro, Seedlip, Springview Sweets, Tao, Trinchero Family Estates Winery, and Weber Grills, along with McCormick Place’s in-house caterer, OVG360.

Gala attendees also have the chance to walk away with the keys to a brand-new 2024 Chevrolet Blazer RS, compliments of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy dealers. 

“There is no other night quite like First Look for Charity night,” said JC Phelan, Chicago Auto Show chairman. “Attendees range from car buffs to foodies to socialites, and they all come together for a night of first-class food, beverages and fun, but – most importantly – to raise money for 18 local charities who count on First Look to support the incredible work they do in our communities throughout the year.”

Since its inception, First Look for Charity has raised more than $60 million for 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.

“First Look for Charity and Chicagoland Dealers Care each offer a glimpse of the incredible support franchised dealers provide to their respective communities,” said Phelan. “However, it’s only a glimpse, because so much of the vital support is done quietly and without fanfare.”

The 2024 First Look for Charity beneficiaries include: 100 Club of Illinois; Advocate Health Care; ALS United Greater Chicago; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago; Cal’s Angels; 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; Sertoma Star Services; Special Olympics Illinois; Susan G. Komen, Chicago; and Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.

Tickets to the event are $325 each and can be purchased at or via 630-495-2282.  Benefactors can 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, $268 is tax-deductible as a charitable donation.

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

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