2017 Chicago Auto Show Gala To Raise Millions For Charities

Eighteen Chicago area charities will benefit from more than $2.5 million expected to be raised by a black-tie gala held in conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Auto Show in February. Now in its 26th year, First Look for Charity is held the evening before the auto show opens to the public.

The coming “First Look” event, on Feb. 10, gives benefactors the chance to see hundreds of new vehicles on display amid an elegance not present when about 1 million people converge on McCormick Place during the auto show’s 10-day consumer run, Feb. 11-20.

Benefactors in attendance also have the chance to win a 2017 Acura TLX, a five-passenger midsize sports sedan; and a 2017 Lexus NX, a luxury crossover.

About 10,000 attendees at the charity gala will be treated to hors d’oeuvres; champagne, wine, beer and soft drinks; and special entertainment presented by the automakers in their displays. The public phase of the auto show attracts an average 100,000 people each day.

First Look for Charity has become one of the special events on the winter schedules of Chicago socialites and car buffs.

“The Chicago Auto Show is uniformly regarded as the finest auto show in the country, but the charitable cause demonstrates that this auto show is about more than just vehicles and accessories,” said Mike McGrath, chairman of the 2017 show. “It’s also about giving something to the charities of our community.”

The 18 organizations participating in this year’s First Look for Charity predominantly are children-oriented. Some operate on a global level; others, locally. The proceeds the charities receive from the event are used in their efforts in the Chicago area, McGrath said.

Charities involved in the 26th annual First Look for Charity are: 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, and The Cradle.

Also, Franciscan Community Benefit Services, Franciscan Health Olympia Fields/Chicago Heights, Ray Graham for People with Disabilities, JDRF, Susan G. Komen-Chicago, and Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

And, March of Dimes, Misericordia, Special Olympics Illinois, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.

Tickets to the event are $275 each and can be ordered by telephone at (630) 495-2282 or online at www.chicagoautoshow.com. Benefactors should indicate which charity or charities they want their donation to benefit. Of each ticket, $222 is tax-deductible as a charitable expense.