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Ribbon cutting ceremony kicks off 2022 NAIAS Charity Preview

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-17 01:56:39-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — After a three-year hiatus, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and prominent dignitaries are convening Friday night for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the 2022 North American International Auto Show Charity Preview at Huntington Place in Detroit.

The Charity Preview will feature new activations like dinosaurs, off-road vehicle encounters, personal mobility with the Gravity Jet Suit created by Gravity Industries and the illumination of the Detroit skyline with hundreds of drones.

“This year’s Charity Preview will be three parties in one,” said Detroit Auto Show Chairman Joe Lunghamer. “We wanted to make this first-year back an event to remember by celebrating with the entire community and by featuring artists that have multi-generational appeal. It’s going to be a great night for supporting the children in Southeastern Michigan and our local businesses, not to mention, a great night for some serious dancing.”

The Auto Show Charity Preview gives a tremendous boost to charities like the Detroit PAL. In total, it’s a game changer delivering more than an average $200,000 a year in donations according to their CEO.

“We’re focused on kids and community. Over 10,000 kids a year,” said Fred Hunter, CEO, Detroit PAL.

For Detroit PAL, the funding helps provide a variety of sports and educational opportunities for countless families, including mentoring and leadership. The boost is particularly needed after a three-year absence, and as donations have declined as a result of economic challenges.

“Gives us resources to invest in what kids need. Football. Baseball. Those sports require equipment and those types of things as well. There’s always a cost for the program and to run the program,” said Hunter.

Detroit PAL parent Maria Franklin’s children are among those who’ve benefited.

“My kids got introduced to PAL through school. I just saw a huge transformation when they scored their first goal on the field,” adds Franklin.

The Auto Show Charity Preview has raised more than $100 million for various children’s charities in Southeastern Michigan over the past 25 years. Since its inception in 1976, the event has raised over $121 million.

This year, Charity Preview beneficiaries include:

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan
• The Children’s Center
• The Children’s Foundation
• Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
• Detroit PAL • University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

To watch the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview, watch live on 7 or head to or on your favorite streaming devices.