First Look for Charity Chicago

It takes a lot of nerve to hit the apex of a turn at 127 mph wearing a ball gown and heels. Hydraulic pedals are an unusual pairing with stilettos but this past Friday, attendees at the Chicago Auto Show got to experience what wasn’t your typical speedway. SimGear Simulators showed up and kept things classy with a full-motion, SimGear GT1 driving simulator, supporting the widely celebrated First Look for Charity event at the Chicago Auto Show, the nation’s largest and longest running auto show. Attendees were able to experience true to life, laser-mapped race courses, many spinning out their favorite sports cars, all without leaving the expo floor.

The SimGear GT1 driving simulator made its debut appearance at the 100 Club Chicago charity event, playing debutante to some 40 thrill-seeking patrons. The 100 Club Chicago supports families and spouses of Chicago-area first responders who have been lost in the line of duty. The annual black-tie event kicks off the Chicago Auto Show, which is expected to draw thousands of car-crazed Chicagoans to McCormick Place. About $2.6 million was raised for 18 charities at the pre-show gala.

The mission of the 100 Club of Chicago is to help provide for the surviving spouses and dependents of first responders who lose their lives in the line-of-duty. This includes all federal, state, county and local officers, firefighters and paramedics stationed in and working out of Cook and Lake Counties.

In 2011 the 100 Club became involved in the Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity Event. Mike McGrath and McGrath Lexus provided the connection to this event and have been gracious supporters since. During the four years we have participated in First Look for Charity we have brought in over $500,000 to support the families of our fallen heroes. In 2015 we sold over 600 tickets with all ticket sales generated by the 100 Club benefiting the 100 Club.

CHICAGO (WLS) — The black-tie First Look for Charity event Friday night kicked off the Chicago Auto Show, which is expected to draw thousands of car-crazed Chicagoans to McCormick Place.

The annual event runs for nine days starting Saturday.

About $2.6 million was raised for 18 charities at the pre-show gala.

On Friday, media day kicked off with a host of unveilings from variety of manufacturers, including Ford with their revamped Chicago-built Ford Explorer.

“We see more and more people drawn to what we call the Swiss Army life, where they want to invest in products that have versatility, durability and utility,” said Cheryl Connelly, of Ford USA Global.

At the charity event, at least one competitor in that class the Jeep Renegade which was given away at the charity event. The other car was the Lincoln MKX.

“To think that the dealers turn over the entire show to these charities, let them sell tickets and keep the proceeds, it’s really cool,” said David Sloan, president Chicago Auto Show.

The gala featured dozens of food stations and champagne, but also the opportunity to get into the cars.

“The challenge is to get it cleaned up to look perfectly pristine for the attendees to come tonight and see this beautiful show in this beautiful building and see these beautiful vehicles we’re going to give away tonight,” said Chris Konecki, director of auto show operations.

About 1,000 vehicles are on display at the McCormick Place’s north and south halls.

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