On February 16th, the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation (GPADF) again hosted hundreds of locals and celebrities who attended the “Dancing with the Cars” charity celebration. The event previewed the opening of the 2017 Pittsburgh International Auto Show from February 17-20 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, benefiting the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix charities.
The Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation, an independent, philanthropic arm of the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association was formed to raise and distribute funds for the support of, and contributions to, charitable organizations. The popular Auto Show preview has raised close to a million dollars for numerous charities throughout Western Pennsylvania since 2012.
For the past two years, funds raised by the Foundation helped support the work of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix’s two charities – the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. PVGP’s Executive Director Dan DelBianco stated “the efforts of our charities improve the lives of thousands of families and the caring professionals that work with them throughout southwest Pennsylvania.
”This year’s Auto Show premiere on February 16th at David Lawrence Convention Center, GPADA kicked it up a notch and presented a check for a jaw-dropping $405,500 to help the two charities increase local autism programs and residential care and treatment services for those with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Autism Society President Jesse Torisky stated that the GPADA donation was vital to meeting expanding needs concurrent with the increasing incidence of autism today – one in every 68 births. “This money helps us in key areas like law enforcement and juvenile justice training, summer education to prevent regression, life span planning and guidance, vocational training, and ongoing governmental enlightenment.
”Dorothy Hunter Gordon, director of development for Allegheny Valley School stated, “GPADA’s contribution helps enhance our full range of quality residential care and treatment programs and facilities, including outdoor recreational spaces, sensory program areas, vocational training tools and materials, and facility improvements and special furnishings for residents’ living areas.
“Said GPADF Chief Executive Officer John Putzier, “Combining charitable purpose and automotive excellence in one event is what makes the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix unique and our region indeed someplace special for those with special needs.”
“The GPADF, with its local dealers and manufacturers, has always been supportive of our event and represents the single largest sponsor segment,” said DelBianco. “The combination of the Greater Pittsburgh Automotive Dealers Association and its Foundation, with our 100,000+ attendees and enthusiastic volunteers, makes this an ideal fit for each organization.”
Guests enjoyed complimentary valet service, a champagne cocktail reception, a savory, strolling dinner and dessert bar. All while they danced the night away with some super charged entertainment in the midst of the most amazing automobiles the world has to offer.
Featured vehicles for 2017 included some exciting peeks at auto enthusiasts’ favorite brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and MINI, plus exotic cars like Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari and Lamborghini. The event is also a popular way for many guests to view the latest models of cars with access to product specialists who are hand to answer questions.