Gentlemen, get your Gucci tuxes pressed, and ladies slip into your Marchesa evening gowns and join the slew of celebrities and locals as they work their way down the red carpet Friday for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Charity Preview.
The black tie gala is one of largest one-night fundraisers in North America. In 2011 the event drew over 10,000 guests and raisied over $2.5 million for charity.
It's an elegant evening of glitz, glamour and most importantly, "generosity," says NAIAS chairman Bill Perkins. “We’re very proud of this because it benefits the children of Southeast Michigan, and when economic times are tough, one group that always suffers is the children."
High-profile auto suppliers, CEOs of the big three, celebrities and more will attend the event to scope out what’s new and exciting and being produced within the auto industry. Overall, the goal is to raise $3 million – topping the $2.5 million generated last year -- that will go towards nine different charities.
"It’s the one time of year where auto executives are all under one roof," Perkins says. “I have my wife on my arm, get to sip champagne and enjoy the festivities of the auto show. I look forward to it every year."
Musical performances will include the Selected of God Choir - the voices behind the lauded Eminem Chrysler commercial - and Julian Pavone, the world’s youngest drummer.
Auto Glow Under the Big Top
This event at the Westin Book Cadillac, follows the charity preview with a circus-themed party that boasts a three-ring circus filled with fun, Detroit talent, high-rise entertainment and an abundance of food -- all to raise funds for the Children’s Center.
“It’s a fun party where everyone can dance and have a nice time,” says Hillary Mulka, assistant account executive with PCG Campbell. “We have a different theme every year and it’s so exciting to see this year’s theme; something we have never tried before.”
The Children’s Center teamed up with students from the College for Creative Studies for a design challenge to develop the circus theme. The winning team members -- Shayne Shepherd, Kristina Prybula and Daeun Kim -- created a carnival room fit with tent-like drapings, animal raffle tickets, circus treats (cotton candy and Cracker Jack) and a chance for guests to win a golden ticket. Other entertainment under the big top includes the Detroit Flyhouse, acrobats, knife throwers and the Rick Lieder band.
“People can expect the best glow on earth,” says Derine McCrory, director of marketing and communications for the Children’s Center. “We have gone to great lengths to make sure we’ve created the best experience for our guests and we do this because it helps to raise funds to provide services for children and their families. With the shrinking resources, this is so important to our bottom line in order to keep our doors open and provide quality care for mental health, foster care and adoption services.”
Proudly presented by the Ford Motor Company, the auto glow pre-reception will take place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Westin Book Cadillac while the AutoGlow will continue from 8 p.m. until midnight with strolling hors d’oeuvres, a dinner of cheeses, meats and vegetables, a signature cocktail of pink lemonade, raspberry vodka and champagne, an array of desserts, an open bar and a variety of entertainment. Typically, more than 900 people attend the event, but you must have tickets to the charity preview to attend.
“We’ve been a part of this for 21 years and we’re fortunate,” McCrory says. “It holds a special place in our hearts and helps to improve the quality of life of children and helps to fulfill our mission to shape children’s futures. We are so grateful to have this opportunity.”
For 82 years, the Children’s Center in Detroit has provided more than 20 programs to help develop and empower more than 7,000 children each year. After the party, guests donate their outfits to the Emporium of Birmingham where 60 percent of the funds will go back to the Children’s Center.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the charity preview, call 888-838-7500 or visit charitypreview.com. The event will take place from 6-9 p.m. at Cobo. Tickets are $250 per person and tax deductible.
Tickets for the Auto Glow are $300 and are also tax deductible. For more information call 313-262-1085.