Smith: Detroit auto show boon for charities and region

Paul W. Smith

If everything went as planned Friday night at the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview, another $5 million-plus was raised for area children’s charities.

People mingle near the Lincoln Continental at the Charity Preview.

In the 17 years I’ve been honored to help out as master of ceremonies of the kickoff and ribbon-cutting ceremony, we have continued to be the biggest black-tie night of giving in Detroit, the biggest night of giving in North America, and what the heck, the BIGGEST NIGHT OF GIVING IN THE WORLD.

More than $100 million for southeastern Michigan children’s charities has been raised since 1976. Beyond the sparkle and prestige of this great event, the Charity Preview also represents the best of what we can be in the Motor City: innovative, cutting edge, glamorous and compassionate.

The doors of the magnificent Cobo Center open today at 9 a.m., and stay open until 10 p.m. and will continue until Jan. 24. Go to for specific daily hours and pricing.

It is truly important for us to support the Auto Show to be sure we maintain the world-class stature that has been achieved through a lot of hard work by many. It really does matter.

And along with the tremendous global exposure and positive press, we reap the benefits of about $425 million in economic impact, all because of this show … our show. That’s more than the economic impact of a Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby.

And the Detroit Auto Dealers Association does it every year.

The auto show is underway.

It really is better than ever and really worth seeing with the whole family.

With more than 750 vehicles on display, you might want to go back a few times.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.