Charities are in driver's seat at preview party
The annual Portland International Auto Show is not only the largest display of new vehicles in the region, it also is a fundraiser that has generated nearly $3.7 million for local charities.
As in the past, the 2019 show will be preceded by a Sneak Peek Charity Party scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 23 — the day before the show starts its four-day run at the Oregon Convention Center.
Organizers have raised $600,000, so far.
The party includes top-flight entertainment, food by some of Portland's finest chefs, a wide range of refreshments and access to the entire show before it opens. All party costs are underwritten by the Portland Metro New Car Dealers Association, which presents the show. That means all money raised at the parties goes to charities selected by the association.
This year, the association is partnering with Audi Beaverton on a raffle to give away a new Audi A3 e-tron sportback valued at $44,630, the most expensive car ever given away at the annual party. Audi Beaverton is the sponsor of the Sneak Peek and is donating the compact plug-in hybrid.
Entry to the raffle is included in the $100 ticket — $90 of which is tax-deductible. Deatails are available at portlandautoshow.com/sneakpeek.
Eight charities will benefit from this year's party:
Veterans' Legacies: This 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 on all of the vets from here.
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, the 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, a brave and generous young boy who died of an inoperable brain tumor at age 13, the Dougy Center is 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 each week in a 14,000-square-foot commercial kitchen located in Multnomah Village in Southwest Portland. The meals then are delivered daily by more than 450 volunteers to frail, homebound elderly at 30 senior centers throughout Washington, Multnomah and Clark counties.
Self Enhancement Inc.: Founded more than 30 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 fifth year, the Victory Academy is a school in the Sherwood area that serves children with autism. With 1 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 2019 Portland International Auto Show is produced by the Metro Portland New Car Dealers Association. Pamplin Media Group is the media sponsor. Watch for special Auto Show sections in the Jan. 17 and Jan. 24 issues of The Review, and learn more online at portlandautoshow.com.