DETROIT, Mich., Jan. 14, 2012 – Last night the focus was on the kids amongst the backdrop of the cars at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2012 Charity Preview held at Cobo Center. 

    Charity Preview, Detroit’s premier black-tie gala, was made possible by Charter One, part of the RBS group. The event is widely regarded as the largest single night fundraiser in North America.

    “What a night,” proclaimed Bill Perkins, chairman, NAIAS 2012. “We started the evening off with Macomb’s Julian Pavone, the World’s Youngest Drummer, and then got the crowd moving with the Selected of God Choir and their rendition of Eminem’s Lose Yourself. We were thrilled that ticket sales were up over 20 percent from last year, and as of show time we were 12 tickets short from our goal of 12,000 tickets sold, so the Detroit Auto Dealers Association purchased the remaining tickets, and we reached the $3 million mark.” 

    Perkins said that for the one night, Charity Preview was the center of the automotive world. Local and business luminaires filled Cobo Center including: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, U.S. Representatives Sander and Carl Levin, John Dingell, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chief of Police Ralph Godbee, the Detroit City Council, General Motors’ Dan Akerson and Mark Ruess, Ford Motor Company’s Alan Mulally, Chrysler Group’s Pietro Gorlier, Audi North America’s Johan de Nysschen, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.’s Jim Lentz all coming together for the children of Southeast Michigan. 

    The black-tie crowd was served 4,200 bottles of champagne, 1,000 lbs. of beef tenderloin, 20,000 bottles of wine, 35,000 bottles of beer from the Detroit Beer Company, 1,200 lbs. of shrimp, 2,100 lbs. of deli meat, 500 limos filled the streets and 378 cans of hair spray held it all together. 

    Proceeds from the event that mixed glamour and everything automotive go to support vital services for children of all ages in the Detroit metro area. Since 1976 the NAIAS Charity Preview has raised over $87 million for southeast Michigan children’s charities – over $36 million of which was raised in the last seven years alone. 

    Beneficiaries of the Charity Preview include: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Detroit, The Children’s Center, Judson Center, and The Detroit Institute for Children, Think Detroit PAL, March of Dimes, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, and the DADA Charitable Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.