Feb 052018

Auto Show

As it enters its 27th year, First Look for Charity has helped raise nearly $48 million for Chicago-area charities. Attendees at the charity gala will be treated to complimentary hors d’oeuvres; champagne, wine, beer and soft drinks; and special entertainment presented by the automakers in their displays – all while being the first to see the nation’s largest auto show – the Chicago Auto Show – before it opens to the public the following day.

The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America, spanning more than one million square feet of production, concept and exotic vehicle exhibit space.

The Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity

  • Will be held on Friday, Feb. 9 from 7-11 p.m.
  • Is recognized as one of Chicago’s premier, single-day fundraisers
  • Annually raises more than $2.5 million for 18 local charities
  • Last year, a record $3 million was raised for 18 local charities.
  • Goal for 2018 is to reach $3 million.
  • Two attendees will have the chance to win one of two cars: a 2018 Ford Mustang or 2018 Ford Expedition
  • An expected 200,000 samples of world-class food and beverages will be available during the event
  • Tickets can be purchased at FirstLookforCharity.org
  • Follow the conversation on social media with #FLFC18

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Click here to see Molise PR client Real Urban BBQ and 2018 Chicago Auto Show chairman John Hennessey talk about the upcoming event with Dina Bair on WGN Midday News:


Mar 162015

The Molise PR agency was honored to once again assist the Chicago Auto Show, as 18 area charities shared in more than $2.5 million raised by their benevolent gala, First Look for Charity at McCormick Place on Friday, February 13.

The event raised $2,510,714, one of the more prosperous tallies for the 24-year-old black-tie fundraiser. About 9,500 people attended First Look for Charity, held the evening before the auto show opened this year’s nine-day public run. Plus, two attendees left with the keys to new automobiles.

“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 John 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.  For the event, the auto show floor was replete with a variety of food and beverage stations.  Restaurants and specialty food businesses offering various dishes at the event include Adobo Grill, Andy’s Frozen Custard, Catered by Design, Garrett Popcorn Shops, Mitchell’s Ice Cream and Candies, Real Urban Barbecue, Devon Seafood Grill, and Roy’s Restaurant.


CS Magazine Press Clip

Real Urban BBQ Chef Sam Netter went on WGN Midday News February 2, 2015  and shared details on what they would serve during the First Look For Charity – Chicago Auto Show Gala.

Chicago Auto Show Gala Video Screenshot

To watch the full segment click here.

In all, 18 Chicago area charities profited from this year’s event. Other organizations included 100 Club of Chicago, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet, Clearbrook, The Cradle Foundation, Franciscan Community Benefit Service, Franciscan St. James Health, Ray Graham for the Association of People with Disabilities, Illinois Spina Bifida Association, and JDRF, Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, March of Dimes, Special Olympics Illinois, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.


Here are some of our favorite media tweets from the night:


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Jan 162012



The Chicago Auto Show‘s First Look for Charity returns to McCormick Place on Thursday, February 9 from 630 – 10:30 p.m.

The First Look for Charity black-tie gala has generated more than $32 million for charities since its inception in 1992.  This year, 18 significant Chicago area charities will benefit form the $2 million expected to be raised.

The soiree provides thousands of guests an elegant, inaugural look at the annual Chicago Auto Show, which will boast more than 1,00 new vehicles – dozens on display for the first time anywhere.  Those is attendance will also have a chance to win two new vehicles: a 2012 Cadillac Escalade and a 2012 Cadillac SRX, both compliments of your Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Cadillac Dealers.

Rock Band Blues Traveler will enliven the show floor, as singer/ John Popper Leads the quintet known for its extended jamming style in performances.

A coordinated feast will be themed around a global celebration of the world’s greatest annual food and spirits traditions.  Partners include Garrett Popcorn Shops, Real Urban Barbecue, David Burke’s Primehouse, Wildfire, Catered by Design, Texas de Brazil, and Gordon Biersch.  Beverages provided by Spaten, Belvedere Vodka, Trinchero Family Estates, Chandon, Antique Coffee and Pepsi.

Tickets for First Look for Charity are $250 and tuxedo attire is mandatory.  For More information, including the complete list of charities and to purchase tickets, visit www.FirstLookForCharity.org


Feb 172011
Partygoers pose with the Porsches at the "First Look for Charity" Gala

Partygoers pose with the Porsches at the “First Look for Charity” Gala

Last Thursday, February 11th, over 7,000 guests dressed to the nines gathered at McCormick Place for the 20th annual “First Look for Charity” Gala.  Molise PR client, Toque + Bottle Advisory (masterminds in food and beverage consulting and execution) kept them all fed and well lubricated with beer gardens, chef stations and chocolate fountains during the exclusive event on the eve of the Chicago Auto Show’s opening day.

Chef Rick Gresh of David Burke Primehouse serves up maple-glazed pork belly at "First Look for Charity"

Chef Rick Gresh of David Burke Primehouse serves up maple-glazed pork belly at “First Look for Charity”

Benjamin Smock, founder of Toque + Bottle, modeled the culinary stations after 1908’s historic “Greatest Auto Race on Earth” which challenged early automobile enthusiasts to take their cars around the earth from New York to Paris.  The event featured culinary and cocktail stations based on the race’s international checkpoints, as the show floor traced a path from the Big Apple to the City of Lights. Guests sampled food and drink offerings from the race’s first checkpoint, Chicago, plus San Francisco, Yokohama, Moscow, Berlin and more, all while viewing over 1,000 new vehicles- dozens on display for the first time anywhere.

Interactive cocktail stations serve up inventive concoctions such as raspberry sorbet topped with blueberries and Belvedere Vodka

Interactive cocktail stations serve up inventive concoctions such as raspberry sorbet topped with blueberries and Belvedere Vodka

Beverage offerings included a Belvedere interactive cocktail experience; a Spaten Biergarten with café seating; wines from Folie à Deux, and butler passed Chandon bubbly.

Frauleins serve frosty brews at the Spaten Biergarten

Frauleins serve frosty brews at the Spaten Biergarten

Delectable delights were provided by Catered by Design, David Burke Primehouse, and Wildfire, while dessert station sponsors included aja, The Signature Room, Butter Bella, Fogo de Chao, Texas de Brazil, and more.

In all, $1.9 million dollars was raised by the event that will go to support eighteen local charities including Autism Speaks, Catholic Charities, Misericordia Foundation, and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicagoland.