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Chicagoland Dealers Care contest on Facebook builds awareness

December 7, 2012
 Days remain in a Chicagoland Dealers Care contest on Facebook that has 19 area charities vying for three cash awards from the CATA charitable arm. The contest continues through Dec. 12 here.
The 4-year-old Chicagoland Dealers Care program supports area nonprofits that are favored by CATA dealerships. In the Facebook contest, a gallery of 19 dealers and the charities they support are featured. Visitors to the Facebook page can vote for a favorite charity, and the top three vote-getters will win cash donations.
The winning charity gets a $3,500 donation and production of a Chicagoland Dealers Care public service announcement that will appear on NBC 5 Chicago and the websites of the charity program and the television station.
Second prize is a $2,500 donation and third prize is a $1,000 donation. 
By Dec. 6, nearly 32,000 votes had been cast in the contest, but the eventual winner is becoming clearer. Erin’s AAIM for Change, supported by Joe Rizza Ford of Orland Park, has captured nearly half the votes. The nonprofit was founded in 1997 after Erin Olmstead, a senior at Sandburg High School in Orland Park, was killed by a drunken driver.
Visitors to the Facebook page can vote daily through Dec. 12. The Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, backed by the Dan Wolf Automotive Group, trails the leader by about 6,000 votes. A closer race exists for the third prize.
Beyond the contest, Chicagoland Dealers Care donates up to $1,500 to nonprofits that are supported by area dealers. Grant requests have come from a variety of causes: academic programs, cultural arts, performing arts, medical research, and even humanitarian needs.
Some initiatives have been developed into 15-second spots broadcast on NBC 5, and all are trumpeted on the CATA’s weekly radio show, "Drive Chicago," at 8 a.m. Saturdays on WLS 890 AM; and on the association’s website,