Charity Preview raises most money since 2008

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

The 2015 North American International Auto Show Charity Preview will raise the most money for charity since at least 2008.

Ticket sales, according to auto show chairman Scott LaRiche, are already at 13,000. That means the black-tie gala on Friday night will bring in at least $5.2 million for nine Metro Detroit charities.

"It really feels good that we can work together and make a big difference," LaRiche told The Detroit News on Wednesday. "It will take us over $100 million for Michigan charities (since the event started)."

Before this year, the Charity Preview had raised more than $95 million for southeastern Michigan children's charities since 1976, more than $45 million of which was raised in the past 10 years alone.

This year's fundraising will likely be the the most since officials sold about 15,000 for $400 each in both 2007 and 2008, raising $6 million. LaRiche said it's been an honor to be chairman of this year's show, which opens to the public Saturday.

"I am so fortunate to have this opportunity," he said. "What I've learned through this process about the auto show and auto industry is going to stick with me for the rest of my life."

Helping raise money this year are a performance by the Steve Miller Band and a $50 increase in ticket prices to $400, $390 of which is tax deductible. Tickets are still available at

Auto show officials reported attendees of last year's one-night event went through 4,400 bottles of champagne; 1,000 pounds of beef; 20,000 bottles of wine; 35,000 bottles of beer from the Detroit Beer Co.; 1,200 pounds of shrimp; and 2,100 pounds of deli meat. About 13,800 people attended last year's Charity Preview, helping raise $4.8 million.

Charities benefiting from the event include Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit, The Children's Center, The Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Charitable Foundation Fund, Detroit Institute of Children, Judson Center, March of Dimes Metro Detroit, and Detroit PAL.