The Toledo Auto Dealers United for Kids “The Cars are the Stars XIV” Preview Gala on Wednesday night kicked off the 100th Greater Toledo Auto Show, sponsored by the The Blade and produced by the Toledo Automobile Dealers Association. The show, which features the newest automobile models, continues through today at SeaGate Convention Centre.
Since its inception, the gala has contributed more than $1.7 million dollars to local children’s charities. This year’s recipients include Make-AWish Foundation, Baby University, Imagination Station Adopt-A-School-Program, the Historic South Initiative, Read for Literacy and Claire’s Day, the Erie Shores Council of Boy Scouts of America, and the University of Toledo’s and Owens Community College’s ADUK-TADA scholarship endowments. According to Pat Stark, ADUK executive director, this year’s gala is expected to raise $150,000.
The nearly 800 gala attendees entered the show past a classic car display by John Yark. A 1917 Haynes Model 37 Roadster from Stahls Automotive Foundation collection in Chesterfield, Mich., was also on display in commemoration of the auto show’s centennial year.
PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo Auto Show gala
Many folks purchased a ticket for a chance to win a Superperformance MKIII powered by Roush that’s been autographed under the hood by the cast of All Girls Garage. Proceeds from the $20 tickets benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, thanks to the nonprofit Ohio Cobra Club. The drawing will be June 24 at the London Cobra Show in Columbus.
Students from the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, checked in coats before guests headed into the show. The vehicles ranged in price from around $17,000 to well over $85,000; prices were not displayed on higher-end models.
While perusing, guests sipped and supped on delectable edibles at dining stations offering oodles of shrimp cocktail, veggies, mini-sliders, beef tenderloin and pork loin, stuffed mushrooms, fried ravioli, and decadent desserts.
Emcees Jerry Anderson and Melissa Andrews of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, welcomed everyone. Dave White, Jr., ADUK chairman, said the gala is a way to give back to the community in which we all live and depend on to thrive. He thanked the sponsors including Huntington Bank; PNC Bank; Ally Financial; WTOL-TV, Channel 11; WNWO-TV, Channel 24; WTVG-TV, Channel 13; UAW; General Motors Co.; Fifth Third Bank, and the many table patrons. The gala committee, led by Mr. White of Dave White Chevrolet and Dave White Acura, included Marianne Ballas of Ballas Buick GMC; Mike Barchick of Charlie’s Dodge; Robb Brown of Brown Automotive Group; Richard Cronin of Perrysburg Auto Mall; Paul Devers of Vin Devers Autohaus; Bobby Jorgensen of Kistler Ford; Tim Mathews of Mathews Ford; Andrea Musselman of Dunn Chevy Buick; Mike Rouen of Rouen Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and John Yark of Yark Automotive Group.
William A. Southern, president and general manager of The Blade, said, “We reach customers who are interested in buying cars ... go buy some cars!”
A video highlighted this year’s charities, which guest speaker Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said are what the community is all about. She praised Toledo’s downtown development and touted Ohio’s successes but said there are still more challenges we all need to work on together, from jobs and education to clean water.
Northwest Ohio’s Crystal Bowersox wowed the audience. Dancing continued with Decorative Sound, although by then many dealers including Mr. White, were rushing off to New Orleans for the National Auto Dealers Association Convention.
Seen were Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, Councilman Theresa Gabriel, Jim Valiton, Gene and Pam McMillin, Dave Nottke, Raye Ohl and Michael Fabijance, Scott Schultz, Karen Winn, Anthony Knopps, Dee Talmage, Bill Garbe, Duane Horst and Diane Sturt, Jon Dwyer, Sharon Speyer and Dean Monske, Brian Trauring, John Graham, and many other bankers and professionals related to the auto industry.
If you go to the show today, here are a few of the attractions in addition to the cars:
■ The Northwest Ohio Chevy Dealers’ contest for a two-year lease on a 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback 1LT. The winner will be announced at the show between 2 and 4 p.m. and must be present to get the prize.
■ A social media contest to win four tickets to a Toledo Mud Hens game. Enter by “checking in” at the show on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and posting a photo at the show with the hashtag #UAutoB2.
■ An interactive distracted-driving simulator from Maria’s Message to end teen distracted driving.
■ Ride-and-drives from Toyota and Fiat Chrysler.
■ Zoo animals, area sports mascots, balloons, and face painting.
■ Tickets are $7 at box office or $5 online; $5 for students, and free for children 9 and under.
Contact Barbara Hendel at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6124.
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