North American International Auto Show Charity Preview Revs Up $5.1 Million for Detroit Children’s Charities

January 26, 2018

In a celebration of kids, cars and Motown, the 2018 North American International Auto Show’s (NAIAS) Charity Preview raced to the finish line with almost $5.1 million in funds raised for children’s charities in the Detroit area.

Held Jan. 19 at the Cobo Center, more than 13,000 people attended the black-tie gala, recognized as the largest annual single-night fundraiser in the world, according to NAIAS officials.

“Earlier in the week, we saw a powerful lineup of products and leaders come together to advance our industry’s mobility-focused future,” said 2018 NAIAS Chairman Ryan LaFontaine at the event.

He added, “Tonight, we see that same industry and our entire Motor City rally around the most vulnerable within our community.”

Sponsored by Axalta Coating Systems for the third consecutive year, Charity Preview has raised nearly $118 million for southeastern Michigan children’s charities since the Detroit Auto Dealers Association established the gala 42 years ago, with more than $41 million raised in the last 10 years alone.

Proceeds from the annual gala directly benefit a wide range of children’s charities, supporting services for kids of all ages from birth to 18.

Beneficiaries of the NAIAS Charity Preview included:


• Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan

• Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit

• Children’s Center

• The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation

• Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund

• Detroit PAL

• Judson Center

• March of Dimes Metro Detroit


At the event, The Four Tops took center stage with a special performance on Cobo’s Atrium stage, during which the Detroit Auto Dealers Association presented a $75,000 gift to the Motown Museum.

The annual charity event builds on NAIAS Preview Week’s momentum of global vehicle and technology reveals and industry-shaping announcements, which is held prior to the Public Show that runs Jan. 20-28.

Now in its 30th year, NAIAS is known as one of the largest and most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing attendees one-stop, up-close access to the vehicles and technologies shaping the future automotive landscape, according to NAIAS officials.

NAIAS is the only auto show in the U.S. to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the globe.​​​​​​​

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter the characters shown in the image.

Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: