Chicago Auto Show to kick off with First Look for Charity event

Ravi Baichwal Image
Friday, January 15, 2016
Chicago Auto Show First Look for Charity
The Chicago Auto Show First Look for Charity will be held Feb. 12.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's the hottest ticket in town for car enthusiasts - we're getting our first look at what you're expected to see at this year's Chicago Auto Show.

Auto dealers are welcoming in show season in Chicago Friday at McGrath Acura, trumpeting First Look for Charity, the kickoff event that will be held Feb. 12 for the biggest auto show in North America.

"It is a great opportunity for the dealers to give back to the community, there's 18 local charities that benefit from the money raised that night, every dollar that is raised, it goes a long way," said Bill Haggerty, principal, Haggerty Buick GMC.

The night will feature refreshments from some of Chicago's finest restaurants and food service companies, all of whom donate their time and talents.

"It gives to a lot of the veterans, police, fire departments, it is not just singled out to one charity," said Dean Eliacostas, Real Urban Barbecue.

Pulled pork sliders are just some of the food to be sampled at First Look for Charity. In fact, there are going to be 140,000 samples of food on a night when 18 charities are going to have $2.5 million raised for them. In 25 years, this event has actually pulled in over $40 million for Chicago charities.

They include many helping children and those with disabilities. But First Look is also a night to celebrate the most American of icons - the automobile, whose sales beat records in 2015.

"We are back and cars are better than ever, they are more affordable, they are safer," said Mike McGrath, Jr., McGrath Lexus of Chicago.

And fun to get into, but only if in black tie - well ahead of the big crowds.

"It supports a lot of the charities we believe in as a company and it is a way of giving back to the community in our small way," said Sam Gray, Catered by Design.

The Chicago Auto Show First Look for Charity event takes place Friday, Feb. 12 at McCormick Place.

The black tie event runs from 7-11 p.m.

Also be sure to watch as ABC7 presents the Chicago Auto Show on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.