Detroit Auto Dealers fund donates $300,000 in grants for charities after NAIAS cancelation

It seems COVID-19 has forced so many things in our lives to be canceled or postponed. In Detroit, the North American International Auto Show was to be held in June and is a huge fundraiser for charities - when it was canceled, organizers had to get creative to ensure they got the support they needed.

The auto show was to be held in the summer for the first time this year - but in late March, the TCF Center was converted to a makeshift hospital and the pandemic forced the cancelation.

Organizers were determined to get groups like Judsen Center the help they need. They've been helping children in need for longer than most of us have been alive and relies on generous donations to keep their mission going.

"For almost 96 years we've been very proud, you know, to still be here," said Lenora Hardy-Foster. "When I think about this year and what we've projected and thought we were going to receive from the charity preview..."

Everything changed on March 28. The auto show and charity preview were all canceled - as was basically everything else.

On Thursday, there was some good news for some of the children's charities that benefit from the auto show's charity preview: more than $300,000 in grants.

"We do have some resources that we keep, what I would call, for a rainy day and this surely falls under that category," said NAIAS chairman Doug North.

It was an unexpected gift from the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

"I just think that was just so wonderful. We were not even expecting it. We understand. The pandemic hit all of us, it impacted the people we serve, the children we serve. The demand has always been great, it's greater now," said Hard-Foster

Even though there was no charity preview this year, North said they hope people who would have attended consider a donation.

As for 2021, NAIAS is set to open in the summer with the charity preview set for June 18.