[NEWS] Detroit auto show: Charity Preview with Sheryl Crow already tops $4.5 million for charity

By Michael Wayland

DETROIT, MI- The 2014 North American International Auto Show Charity Preview is expected to be the largest in years.

With two days left to sell tickets for the black-tie gala, sales have already topped last year’s 13,000, according to NAIAS officials. That means more than $4.5 million will be donated to Detroit children’s charities, already surpassing the $3.9 million raised in 2013.

“This is a big night for Detroit,” said NAIAS chairman Bob Shuman in an interview last week. “This is going to be a huge night and it will really showoff that new, renovated part of Cobo.”

The Detroit convention center is nearing the end of a $279 million renovation. Visitors to last year’s Detroit auto show may have noticed a lot of construction and a few renovations, but this year the upgrades are much more noticeable (click here for more in the upgrades).

Besides Cobo, another reason for the Charity Preview’s already booming success is probably Sheryl Crow, who is scheduled to perform. NAIAS officials announced her performance in November, with Shuman saying, “Her performance will crown what is already one of Detroit's most spectacular evenings, and the largest single night fundraiser for children's charities in North America."

Charity Preview, which MLive Media Group is the official Social Media Sponsor of, will be held from 6-9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $350 each, $340 of which is tax deductible. This year's price is $50 more than last year, but Shuman said the increase is all for the charities.

“It’s an attempt to try and raise a little bit more money for the kids and for charity,” he told MLive. “The charities have higher expenses. Everyone has higher expenses.”

Since 1976, the Charity Preview has raised more than $91 million for southeastern Michigan children's charities - over $47 million of which was raised in the last 10 years alone.

Beneficiaries of the event include Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Boys and Girls Hope Detroit, Children's Center, The Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Charitable Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, The Detroit Institute of Children, Judson Center, March of Dimes Metro Detroit, and Detroit PAL.

Another new attraction for the night, as part of the NAIAS’ 25th anniversary this year, is “Studio 25,” which will include an after party being held in Cobo Center’s new Grand Riverview Ballroom and VIP Hospitality Lounges. Tickets for the new event were sold separately from the Charity Preview.
The Detroit auto show will be open to the public from Jan. 18-26 at Cobo Center, One Washington Blvd., following Press Preview Jan. 13-14; Industry Preview Jan. 15-16; and the Charity Preview on Jan. 17.

Automakers are unveiled about 50 vehicles during the two-day Press Preview to start the 2014 NAIAS on Monday and Tuesday.

Tickets to the 2014 public show days are $7 for senior citizens and children between 7-12 years old; $13 for adults; and free for children 6 and under.

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