The Drive for Life Foundation Gala To Celebrate 40 Years Monday, September 12, 2022 with Big Ten Coach of the Year Mel Tucker as Special Guest & All Donations To Be Matched 150%


The 40th Annual Drive for Life Foundation Gala Sets $2.5 M Goal With 150% Match On All Donations, Tickets Still On Sale

The Drive for Life Foundation Gala will celebrate 40 years of giving in a big way this upcoming Monday, September 12, 2022 by setting its fundraising goal at $2.5 million dollars. Last year the gala raised over $800,000 for the American Cancer Society and other local charities. This year, the organization has announced that it will be matching all donations by 150% thanks to the generosity of two anonymous donors.  The Gala will feature Big Ten Coach Mel Tucker as a Special Guest Speaker, NASCAR Driver Josh BIlicki, and a replica of the Zeigler.com 77 x MSU Spartan Camaro. Tickets are on sale now at driveforlifefoundation.org with each ticket admitting two guests, and serving as one entry to win a new 2022 Honda Accord or $30,000.


KALAMAZOO, MICH. (September 6, 2022) The 40th Annual Drive for Life Foundation Gala will take place next Monday, September 12, 2022 at the Radisson Plaza at Kalamazoo Center starting at 6:00p.m. For over four decades the organization has supported local charities as one of the longest running charity galas in the area, with the gala breaking records last year by raising over $800,000-surpassing its initial $750,000 goal. This year, two anonymous donors have agreed to match 150% of all donations in an effort to reach at least $1 million in donations and generate $2.5 million for the American Cancer Society and its other supporting charities and organizations.


Tickets for the event are still available online at driveforlifefoundation.org with every $250 entry admitting two guests, and serving as one raffle ticket for a chance to win a new 2022 Honda Accord or $30,000 cash courtesy of West Michigan Honda Dealers.




Big Ten Coach of the Year and MSU's current head football coach Mel Tucker will be this year's special guest speaker. "To me this is about being part of being something bigger than yourself. We're all in this together, no one does anything on their own," said Tucker. "The Drive for Life Gala raises money for organizations that are all about making our community a better place to live and I'm proud to be part of such a great event."


Tucker recently swept the Big Ten Award by earning both Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year and the Dave McClain Coach of the Year, given by coaches and the media, respectively. Last month Coach Tucker and MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo served as Co-Grand Marshals at the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway where the Zeigler.com 77 Camaro was wrapped in a special MSU Spartan paint scheme. The gala will feature photo-ops with a replica of this race car with special guest NASCAR driver Josh Bilicki of Spire Motorsports also in attendance.


(Big Ten Coach Mel Tucker with NASCAR Driver Josh Bilicki of Spire Motorsports in front of the Zeigler.com x MSU Spartans 77 Camaro)


The 40th Annual Drive for Life Foundation Gala will be presented by Zeigler Auto Group, Greenleaf Trust, and Huntington National Bank, and Brown & Brown Dealer Services in benefit of the American Cancer Society, Make-a-Wish Foundation, the First Day Shoe Fund, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan, MRC Industries of Kalamazoo, Gull Lake Community Schools, Family Camps, the American Heart Association, Sherman Lake YMCA, K C Ready 4S, Southwest Michigan Miracle League, Wings of Mercy, Chef Therapeutic Riding Center, Walk Tall Foundation for Kids, and Family & Children Services.


"It is truly a privilege to be able to carry on this incredible legacy that started over four decades ago. The Drive for Life Foundation Gala represents so many things to so many people; but it couldn't be done without the countless hours of hard work from our dedicated volunteers, the incredible generosity of our sponsors, or the willingness of donors and attendees to come together to make a difference for our community," said Aaron Zeigler, president of Zeigler Auto Group, a Presenting Sponsor for the Drive for Life Foundation Gala.


Guests will enjoy a social cocktail hour, a silent auction, live auction, and much more. For ticket information visit driveforlifefoundation.org or call 269.488.2203. You may also email Beth Kalleward at bk@zeigler.com.


LIVE AUCTION ITEMS


1

GO LONG with COACH TUCKER

Catch a football from Mel Tucker personally autographed by the legendary coach himself!  This specially designed MSU football is part of the limited-edition order specifically made for MSU and Mel Tucker.  Raise your hand to add this to your sports memorabilia collection! $1,000 per Autographed Football.

Courtesy of Mel Tucker

 

2

MSU ATHLETIC EXPERIENCE with COACH TUCKER & COACH IZZO

Come up close and join MSU behind the scenes to see how Coach Tucker and Coach Izzo run their Football and Basketball practices.  Interaction and photos with coaches at the practice sessions included in the experience.  Then, have a ball with two (2) Pre-game Field Passes and Sideline Club Tickets for the Ohio State Football game on October 8, 2022.  Add to that two (2) Lower Bowl Men's Basketball tickets for a Big Ten Basketball game to be mutually agreed upon with a Breslin Center Tour and post-game passes.

Courtesy of MSU Athletics, Mel Tucker & Tom Izzo

 

3

BATTLE at the BRESLIN

Get ready for tipoff as one of College Basketball's premier programs takes the court; the Michigan State Spartans. Twelve (12) people are in for some fast-paced action as this package includes 4 Courtside and 8 Lower Bowl Seats to watch the Spartans compete in one of the toughest conferences in College Basketball. Game date based on availability to be mutually agreed upon.

Courtesy of Zeigler Auto Group

 

4

FLY HIGH to the AUTOBAHN in STYLE | PRIVATE HELICOPTER TOUR & RACING EXPERIENCE

Take to the skies with a Private Helicopter tour to the Autobahn Country Club where three (3) friends will spend the day riding shotgun with professional race car driver, Josh Bilicki.  You will also experience the thrill of racing high end sports cars through the Autobahn's exhilarating road course.  Along with this experience, you will own a piece of an historic event!  MSU partnered with Josh Bilicki to race the Chevrolet MSU Zeigler car at the 2022 Michigan International Speedway Firekeepers 400 where Coach Tucker and Coach Izzo were the Grand Marshals of the race.  You will receive the one-of-a-kind Race-Worn Suit ... with a replica hanging in Athletic Halls at MSU!

Courtesy of Josh Bilicki, MSU Athletics & Zeigler Auto Group

 

5

PIT ACCESS with ZEIGLER'S NASCAR TEAM and JOSH BILICKI

An adrenaline rush like no other! Get the full NASCAR experience as 4 people will join professional NASCAR Driver, Josh Bilicki, for a VIP Race Weekend!  The weekend includes All-Access Pit Passes allowing you to hang out and take photos with Josh, his Team and his car pre-race before watching the race from atop the Pit Box! Dates to be mutually agreed upon based on availability.

Courtesy of Zeigler Auto Group and Josh Bilicki

 

6

FLOAT AMONG the CLOUDS | HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE

Get ready for a view like no other as you float among the clouds in the Zeigler Hot Air Balloon! Piloted by Zeigler Auto Group's very own World-Renowned Balloon Pilot Derrick Jones, two (2) people will experience the magic of feeling "lighter than air" during this Champagne flight. Date to be mutually agreed upon.

Courtesy of Zeigler Auto Group



7

SUITE LIFE in the MOTOR CITY | PISTONS or RED WINGS EXPERIENCE

Catch the Motor City's finest; the Detroit Pistons or the Detroit Red Wings! Little Caesars Arena and District Detroit are ready to welcome you as you cheer on the Pistons or the Red Wings from these incredible Suite accommodations that includes food and beverages for ten (10). Be ready to "drop the gloves" for this one-of-a-kind experience! Game date based on availability to be mutually agreed upon.

Courtesy of Huntington Bank

 

8

SOAK up the SUN | FORT MYERS VACATION RESORT

Soak up that Florida Sunshine from this luxury newly remodeled 2-bedroom Resort Condo on the Penthouse Floor located at Fishtail Marina overlooking the beautiful Fort Myers Beach! Enjoy a private entrance with Gulf access, boat rentals, fishing charters, pool, tennis, hot tub, barbeque grills and more! Two (2) Couples will enjoy 7 Days / 6 Nights in the Sunshine State. Enjoy this experience during the Summer of 2023. Date based on availability and to be mutually agreed upon between May and September of 2023.

Courtesy of Bill & Wanda O'Hara

 

9

LUXURY TRIP in the WINDY CITY

View the iconic Chicago Skyline as you never have before, from the 74th floor of Trump Tower! This luxury 2-bedroom sky-rise condo overlooks the Chicago River and is ideally located a short distance from the many Chicago landmarks and world class shopping and dining experiences of the Magnificent Mile. Also included is a dinner for four (4) at one of the finest Steakhouses Chicago has to offer. Date based on availability to be mutually agreed upon.

Courtesy of Aaron & Bonnie Zeigler

 

10

LIGHT THE LAMP | CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS SUITE

Catch the puck drop for one of the NHL's Original Six with the Chicago Blackhawks! Get the United Center rocking as the Blackhawks take on the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, while you take it all in from these incredible Suite accommodations that includes food and beverages for ten (10). The 'Hawks are sure to "light the lamp"!  Don't miss out on this unique experience at a great Venue!

Courtesy of Zurich Insurance

 

11

A LEAP to LAMBEAU | PRIVATE JET and SUITE

Go Pack Go! Root on the Pack in luxurious style as you depart Kalamazoo on a Private Jet, before touching down in Green Bay for the ultimate game day experience! Witness the Pack take on the big city franchise as the Green Bay Packers bring on the New York Jets. Take it all in from your Suite accommodations that include food and beverages for four (4). Don't miss the chance to be the classiest Cheese-Head in all of Green Bay! Game date Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 1:00 PM CST.

Courtesy of Zeigler Auto Group and Jim & Sue Marriott


12

WINE & DINE on GULL LAKE

With views of the beautiful Gull Lake waterscape as the backdrop, enjoy a premier wine and dining experience! Prepared by the Radisson's finest Executive Chefs and paired with wines from the Zeigler's personal wine reserve, Sixteen (16) guests will be treated to an experience you only see in the movies!  Date based on availability to be mutually agreed upon.

Courtesy of Aaron & Bonnie Zeigler and the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites

 

13

ALL HANDS on DECK | LUXURY YACHT TRIP

Enjoy this one-of-a-kind maritime experience cruising the seas aboard a 114-foot luxury Yacht! Complete with a Captain, Crew and Executive Chef, three (3) Couples will live a life of luxury as they spend 5 Days and 4 Nights aboard this custom designed Ocean Alexander 35R Yacht. Destination and date based on availability to be mutually agreed upon.

Courtesy of Harold & Bonnie Zeigler

 


About the Drive for Life Foundation Gala

For four decades, the Drive for Life Gala has attracted the support of business leaders, sponsors and volunteers; bringing the Kalamazoo community together for an extraordinary night of charity.

The Drive for Life Gala debuted in 1982 with a starting ticket price of just $1, raising less than $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. Today, the annual Drive for Life Gala -presented by Zeigler Auto Group, Greenleaf Trust and Huntington Bank- benefits the American Cancer Society and other local charities with over $800,000 in annual support.


ABOUT ZEIGLER AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

Zeigler Automotive Group is one of the largest privately-owned dealer groups in the U.S. with 78 franchises across 35 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Vehicle brands represented include all of the domestic and the majority of the imported manufacturers.

 

Besides its extensive automotive portfolio, the organization owns and operates Zeigler Motorsports, an 85,000-square-foot motorsports dealership and action park, offering 19 different powersports brands, plus its own onsite restaurant: Trak Houz Bar & Grill. Additionally, Zeigler Motorsports houses the Elevate Leadership & Team Building Academy, an executive training company.

 

The Kalamazoo-based dealer group also owns and operates Zeigler Pre-Owned of Chicago, a Carquest Auto Parts store, three Byrider franchises, three finance companies, several insurance firms, and a leasing firm.

 

Founded in 1975, the organization employs over 2,300 people, ranking among the top 1% of automotive dealers in the nation with estimated annual sales of $2.2 billion for 2022. The family-owned and operated company is well known for its commitment to both customer service and employee satisfaction. Zeigler is regularly recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation, also earning similar accolades in Wisconsin, Chicago, and Michigan.