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The Chicago Auto Show’s 29th annual First Look for Charity black-tie gala will take place on Friday, Feb. 7 from 7-11 p.m. at McCormick Place. Held the evening before the nation’s largest auto show opens to the public, First Look for Charity offers car buffs and socialites alike the first chance to see the industry’s latest cars, trucks and SUVs while sampling fine fare and crafted cocktails from area restaurants and caterers.

This year, the event is projected to raise more than $2.5 million for 18 local charities that make a tremendous impact in their communities. Since its inception, this benevolent fundraiser has generated more than $53 million for
Chicago area beneficiaries.

“First Look for Charity is a tremendous effort put on by the area’s new-car dealers, demonstrating the positive impact that dealers have on their community,” said Tony Guido, Chicago Auto Show chairman. “The money that’s raised in Chicago stays in Chicago, as all the benefiting charities are involved locally.”

This year’s beneficiaries include: 100 Club of Chicago; Advocate Health Care; ALS Foundation; Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago; Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet; Clearbrook; Franciscan Community Benefit Services; Habitat for Humanity; JDRF; Susan G. Komen-Chicago; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Lydia Home & Safe Families for Children; Misericordia; New Star; Special Olympics Illinois; Turning Pointe Autism Foundation; and Jesse White Tumbling Team.

Additionally, one lucky attendee will walk away with keys to a brand-new 2020 Ford Explorer ST, compliments of Chicagoland’s Ford dealers. Tickets and more information can be found at High resolution photos and b-roll from last year’s gala can be found in the show’s Online Newsroom.


  • 150 chefs will serve attendees at First Look for Charity
  • 48 food stations will offer nearly 80 different menu items
  • More than 20 different local restaurants and caterers will prepare and serve 175,000 food samples
  • 70 beverage stations, with more than 145 beverage lines, will be serving up champagne, mixed drinks, local craft and domestic beer, varieties of wine, soft drinks, coffee and espresso drinks
  • 1,462 gallons of beer (650 cases)
  • 600 gallons of wine in four varietals (285 cases)
  • 215 gallons of prosecco (90 cases)

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