Chicago Auto Show patrons donate goods for A Safe Haven

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It's day five at the Chicago Auto Show - and it's all about giving. (WLS)

It's day five at the Chicago Auto Show - and it's all about giving.

People who brought at least three cans of food received half off their admission. It's a gesture with obvious meaning, and it highlights a key goal of the show. They've come to dream and to give back at least a little.

PHOTOS: Chicago Auto Show 2016

Kevin Stoffer visits the Chicago Auto Show every year. On Wednesday, he came bearing gifts.

"Oh it is a small token but it gives me an opportunity to feel good about coming," Stoffer said.

So many sought that vibe that a 50-cubic-foot container quickly filled and had to be replaced.

"This is a family tradition, it's not about the expense of the canned goods to save money on their ticket, it is about really empowering themselves and their children to be a part of the solutions," said Neli Vazquez Rowland, A Safe Haven Foundation.

A Safe Haven links food security to homelessness issues and has partnered with the Chicago Auto Show for 19 years. ABC7 has connected with the agency's annual 5K Run to End Homelessness. Volunteers from Mars candy were on the front lines Wednesday.

"I looked at the box this morning, it was empty, a couple of cans, and I thought it is going to be slow based on the day of the week. And it is full already and we have to get it out of the way," said Mike Molda, Mars, Inc.

Eventually all of these automotive treasures here - minus the concepts, of course - will make their way to dealers who are often the lifeblood of local economies. That commitment to community underlies the feel at the Chicago Auto Show.

"We can't be a part of the community without participating in it, and we wouldn't be that way - that's just how we operate," said John Hennesey, River View Ford, Chicago Auto Show vice chair.

By the end of the show's run Feb. 21, patrons are expected to give 10-12 tons of food that A Safe Haven will use for its clients and distribute through Chicago's broader food security network.

See more ABC7 coverage of this year's Chicago Auto Show here.
Related Topics:
automotiveauto showautoshowdonationsChicago - Near South Side
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