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Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity Raises More than $2.8 Million for 18 Area Nonprofit Organizations

Contact: Mark Bilek

Senior Director of Communications and Technology
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6082
Cell: (847) 652-0632

Contact: Jennifer Morand
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6084
Cell: (630) 391-1986



CHICAGO (Feb. 12, 2018) – First Look for Charity, the cornerstone fundraiser of the Chicago Auto Show, raised more than $2.8 million for 18 local nonprofit organizations. The black-tie gala, which takes place one day before the show’s public opening, drew nearly 10,000 attendees to McCormick Place, despite one of the snowiest days of the year.

Guests sampled gourmet food and beverage offerings and browsed nearly 1,000 of the latest vehicles, technologies and interactive exhibits spanning one million sq. ft. of space. Proceeds from the annual gala benefitted 18 nonprofits across Chicagoland and, as in years past, purchasers could specify the charity to which their contributions would benefit.

“There’s nothing like the First Look for Charity black-tie gala at the Chicago Auto Show,” said John Hennessy, chairman of the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. “In addition to putting on the greatest consumer auto show, our manufacturer and dealership partners remain committed, year after year, to giving back to the Chicago community. That’s what this night is all about.”

First Look for Charity has raised more than $50 million since its inception. Proceeds benefit the following nonprofit organizations operating in the greater Chicago area: 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, Clearbrook, The Cradle, Franciscan Community Benefit Services, Franciscan Health Foundation, JDRF, Susan G. Komen Chicago, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Lydia Home & Safe Families for Children, March of Dimes, Misericordia, Special Olympics Illinois, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.

A staple of the annual First Look for Charity preview is the annual vehicle giveaway. This year, Jason Heineman of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, walked away with an all-new 2018 Ford Expedition, while Steve and Sarah Oliver of Dyer, Indiana, won the brand-new 2018 Ford Mustang, compliments of Ford and the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Ford Dealers.

For high-definition b-roll from First Look for Charity, click here

The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Feb. 10-18, and 10 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 19. For continuing coverage and a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow the Chicago Auto Show on social media. For more information about the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, please visit


About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America, spanning more than one million square feet of production, concept and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North American vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity raises more than $2.5 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2018 public show is Feb. 10-19. For more information, visit or

The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is officially sanctioned by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. Founded in Paris in 1919, it is known as the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs.

About the Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is one of the nation’s largest metropolitan dealer organizations. It is comprised of more than 420 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group’s dealer members employ about 20,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world-famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit

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