Charities and civic organizations know that Chicagoland new-car dealers are an integral part of their communities and are often deeply involved in charitable causes. However, dealers rarely receive the recognition they deserve for their ongoing efforts. The Chicago Automobile Trade Association created Chicagoland Dealers Care in 2008 to raise awareness and build upon charitable efforts already put forth by the local dealer community. We honor their commitment.
John Weinberger Driven to Care Legacy Scholarships to Benefit Students Pursuing Automotive Careers
CHICAGO (Mar. 31, 2021) -
The family of renowned automotive enthusiast, racer, and entrepreneur John Weinberger has teamed with TechForce Foundation to offer a series of scholarships to benefit students who aspire to follow in his footsteps. Application deadline is April 30, 2021.
The John Weinberger Drive to Care Legacy Scholarships support students with awards of up to $10,000 across a broad spectrum of automotive career disciplines: Automotive Engineering; Vintage Automotive Restoration; Automotive Dealership Management, Marketing and Communications; and Automotive Technician. Students who meet the following criteria are eligible for awards:
SAE-Chicago section automotive students enrolled in the engineering program at the University of Illinois-Chicago or Northern Illinois University;
McPherson College students pursuing historic automotive technology;
Lyons Township High School (Illinois) automotive students enrolled in a post-secondary school to pursue a career in the automotive industry;
Illinois or Texas students pursuing a career as an automotive technician and enrolled in any local community college that offers an automotive program or Universal Technical Institute (UTI);
Northwood University students pursuing skills in car dealership management, marketing and communications.
The scholarships are offered in partnership with TechForce Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to champion students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians. To apply for one of the scholarships, visit www.DrivenToCare.org.
The scholarship offerings reflect the interests, experiences, and expertise of John F. Weinberger of Naperville, Illinois and Austin, Texas - a legendary force in automotive circles who built Continental Motors Group - one of the nation’s largest dealership groups - and enjoyed a lifetime of driving, racing, and tinkering with cars. Recipients will be selected by TechForce representatives and a group of John’s “car buddies,” in the Chicago and Austin areas, known as the “lunch bunch.”
“We want young people to dream what they want to dream,” said John’s wife Lisa about the creation of the scholarships. “John was able to turn his passion into his profession and was just so positive in everything he did. He measured success in smiles. He glowed. I hope to see a glimmer of my husband in each and every one of these students. That would fill my heart with his light.”
A respected and influential force in the industry, John served several terms on the boards of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, the Illinois Automobile Trade Association, and the American Import Auto Dealers Association. John also enjoyed racing and earned numerous podium finishes while competing in SCCA events during the 1960s. His exploits led to induction into the Road Racers Drivers Club, where he joined an exclusive group of famed drivers. He was also a board member of the Sports Car Club of America and an active member of various vintage racing clubs, including SVRA, VSCDA, and HSR. He continued racing until the age of 84 - and even took to the track after his passing on September 12, 2020 as his wife Lisa took the wheel of the hearse to lead a first-of-its-kind, high-speed funeral procession around the Circuit of the Americas race track.
These scholarships continue John and Lisa’s history of giving back to the community that began with the Continental Motors Group “Driven to Care” car giveaway program, which has seen the donation of nearly 100 refurbished cars to deserving individuals who have overcome challenges such as homelessness, substance abuse, and physical abuse.
“John wanted car dealers to be seen in a different light,” said Lisa. “If every dealer in the country followed his example of reaching out to the community, of mentoring young people, and of providing networking opportunities, we could change a lot of things for the better.”
To learn more about John Weinberger and his history, visit www.johnweinbergerlegacy.com.