Chicago Automobile Trade Association

More charities buoyed by Chicagoland Dealers Care

August 7, 2020
Two more nonprofits favored by area new-car dealerships were recent beneficiaries of the CATA’s Chicagoland Dealers Care program. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Palatine and the Children at the Crossroads Foundation in Chicago each received $1,500.
The CATA has been a longtime supporter of local charities. Since its inception in 2008, the Chicagoland Dealers Care program has donated more than $100,000 to local organizations supported by CATA member dealers. The CATA matches a dealer’s donation up to $1,500.
Hyundai of Palatine is a supporter of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Formed five years ago by the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce, the Academy helps coach middle and high school-aged children on how to build and run their own businesses. In September of each year, up to 30 students have the opportunity to apply to a 25-week program. Students are paired with personal mentors who work with them every step of the way through the final phase of forming a business plan.
"When Hyundai of Palatine first submitted the Young Entrepreneurs Academy’s Chicagoland Dealers Care application to the CATA, we took one look at it and said ‘This is right in our wheelhouse,’ " said CATA Chairman Kevin Keefe. "The concept is wonderful, arming these young students with the education and resources for them to build and run their own businesses."
Similar to ABC-TV’s hit show "Shark Tank," the students have the chance to pitch their business ideas to local business leaders and investors. One student qualifies each year to present at a national level in Rochester, New York, in front of a panel of judges at the conclusion of the program. All students are pledged some funding to launch their business, and some have even reaped the benefits of receiving offers from local investors.
"To think that these young students are receiving legitimate offers from major investors is incredible," said Steven Gaus, executive director of the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce. "We are so thankful for local businesses like Hyundai of Palatine and organizations such as the CATA who help fund our programming so that these students can achieve these extraordinary goals." 
"As a business owner myself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help these young students who have similar passions," said Hyundai of Palatine/Leader Auto Group President Tamara Darvish. "The Young Entrepreneurs Academy does tremendous work within the Palatine community, and we’re committed to continuing to support their efforts."
Elgin Toyota has been a supporter of the Children at the Crossroads Foundation for five years. The Foundation was created in 1990 on the belief that economic circumstances should not predict the future. Maggie Daley, then Chicago’s first lady, founded the Frances Xavier Warde School in 1989 with the vision that it would be would be a place where all families would embrace and accept each other’s faiths and racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. Her goal was to have 30% of the school’s students benefit from financial assistance, a hope that became a reality with the inception of Children at the Crossroads Foundation.
Since then, the Foundation has changed the lives of more than 700 children by providing more than $15 million in financial aid.  Ever true to the foundation’s mission, 30% of the students who attend the Frances Xavier Warde School receive either full or partial financial assistance.
"We applaud the Children at the Crossroads Foundation for its tremendous work to help enrich these young students’ lives," said Keefe, the CATA chairman. "The Chicagoland Dealers Care program helps stretch our member dealers’ dollars a little further for wonderful organizations like this foundation, and it also helps shine a spotlight on new-car dealers’ positive impact within their communities."
Elgin Toyota is part of the Bob Loquercio Auto Group. Bob Loquercio, the group’s president and chief executive, said: "I was hooked on the Foundation’s mission from the first moment I attended one of its fundraising events. I knew I had to get involved, and here I am (as a board member), five years later."
Sarah Frick, director of advancement at the Foundation, said, "We’re so humbled by the Bob Loquercio Auto Group’s generosity as well as the contribution from the area’s new-car dealer association, the CATA."


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