Putting charities in driver's seat
The annual Portland International Auto Show is not only the largest display of new vehicles in the region, it is also a fundraiser that has generated nearly $3 million for local charities over the past five years.
For four of those years, each show has been preceded by a Sneak Peek Charity Party, and 2018 is no exception. This year's party is scheduled from 6:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24 — the evening before the Portland International Auto Show starts its four-day run at the Oregon Convention Center.
The party will include top-flight entertainment, food from some of Portland's finest chefs, a wide range of refeshments and access to the entire show before it opens. Attendees can also enter a raffle (included in the $100 admission, $90 of which is tax-deductible) for a chance to win a new Audi Q3 2.0T Quattro Tiptronic donated by Audi Beaverton. It is valued at $37,325.
All party costs are underwritten by the Portland Metro New Car Dealers Association, which presents the show. That means all money raised at the party goes to charities selected by the PMNCDA; last year's party raised $600,000 for the charities, $100,000 more than in 2016.
Eight charities will benefit from this year's party:
Veterans' Legacies: This new foundation is dedicated to preserving the stories of all Oregon veterans. Its first program, called "Mighty Endeavor," focuses on WWII veterans, with a goal of making Oregon the first state in the nation to collect information about all of its veterans.
Brian Grant Foundation: Brian Grant started his foundation when he was playing for the Portland Trail Blazers to help seriously ill children. After retiring from basketball, he was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's disease in 2008 at the age of 36 and refocused the foundation's mission on it.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro: Founded by a Portland police officer in 1946, Boys & Girls Clubs now offers programs for children ages 6 to 18 when schools are out, including after normal school hours and during breaks. No child is turned away because of need.
The Dougy Center: Inspired by Dougy Turno, who died of an inoperable brain tumor at age 13, the Dougy Center is now widely regarded as an international leader in the field of childhood bereavement. It has provided support groups to more than 35,000 children, teens, young adults and their family members, and provided interventions to thousands of communities in response to tragedies.
JDRF Oregon/Southwest Washington: The local chapter of the leading global organization fighting Type 1 diabetes spends much of the money it raises on local research and support work.
Meals on Wheels People: Founded in 1969, the organization produces 7,500 hot, nutritious meals five days a week in a 14,000-square-foot commercial kitchen located in the heart of Multnomah Village in Southwest Portland. They are then delivered to 30 senior centers throughout Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties, or delivered by more than 450 volunteers a day to frail, homebound elderly.
Self Enhancement Inc.: Founded 31 years ago as a one-week summer basketball camp, SEI has grown to a year-round agency supporting at-risk urban youth. It now offers a range of in-school, after-school, summer, post-high school, parental involvement and other programs.
Victory Academy: Now in its fourth year, the Victory Academy is a school serving children with autism located in the Sherwood area. With one in 50 children being diagnosed with autism, the organization has a philosophy that all children with autism can learn and succeed in different ways.
The 2018 Portland International Auto Show is produced by the Portland Metro New Car Dealers Association. The Pamplin Media Group is the media sponsor; look for more about the show in two special sections — one inside The Review today and another in the Jan. 25 issue of the newspaper.
For more information about the Sneak Peek Charity Party, go to http://www.portlandautoshow.com/sneakpeek.
IF YOU GO
What: 2018 Portland International Auto Show, the largest display of new cars, trucks, vans and SUVs in the region, with additional family-friendly exhibits
When: Thursday, Jan. 25, to Sunday, Jan. 28. Begins with a Sneak Peek Charity Preview Party on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday.
Where: Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland
Tickets: $12 for adults 13 years and older; $10 for seniors and miilitary with ID; $7 for kids ages 7-12; kids 6 year of age and under are free; kids under 12 free on Sunday Family Day with adults.
More info: http://www.portlandautoshow.com.