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First Look for Charity raises $1.8 million

November 24, 2010
Seventeen area charities shared in more than $1.8 million raised by the 2002 Chicago Auto Show's benevolent event, First Look for Charity, and one attendee left with the keys to a new Ford Thunderbird. 
The amount, $1,800,609, and the 12,004 tickets sold both were record figures for the 11-year-old black-tie benefit, which is held the evening before the auto show opens its 10-day public run. 
"First Look for Charity is a great instrument for the area's new-car dealers to show the positive impact they have on their community," said Greg Webb, chairman of this year's auto show. "All the benefiting charities are involved locally, so the money that's raised in Chicago stays in Chicago." 
As the name of the event implies, those who attend First Look for Charity are part of the premier viewing of each year's Chicago Auto Show. 
Tickets to the fund-raiser are $150 each, and purchasers can elect to have their proceeds equally benefit all participating charities, or any one charity for which they have an affinity. For the event, the auto show floor is replete with a variety of food and beverage stations. A highlight of the evening is the drawing for a new vehicle, the event's grand prize. This year's event awarded the Thunderbird to Peter Grace of Oak Park, Ill. 
"I'm here tonight with some friends who had an extra ticket," Grace said as he was handed the keys to the prize. "I feel a little guilty about winning, but not guilty enough to give it up. This is a car that's special enough to save for one of my children." 
Proceeds of Grace's ticket benefited Ronald McDonald House Charities. In all, seventeen Chicago area charities benefited from the event.