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First Look for Charity

First Look for Charity stands as one of Chicago's greatest one-day fundraisers, regularly generating more than $2.5 million for 18 area nonprofits. Held at McCormick Place the evening before the Chicago Auto Show opens its public run, the benevolent event is anticipated by socialites and car buffs alike. Guests are treated to champagne, wine, soft drinks, elegant hors d'oeuvres and desserts -- all while being the first to explore this year's edition of the nation's largest auto show.

Additionally, gala attendees will have the chance to win one of two brand new vehicles that will be up for grabs that evening.

Since its debut in 1992, First Look for Charity has raised $45 million for significant Chicago area charities such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, JDRF and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, among many more. For more information about First Look for Charity at the Chicago Auto Show, please visit,

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2018 First Look Charity Chicago Auto Show Charity Benefit Raises $2.8 Million

February 09, 20182 min read

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

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