Who: Rick Case
What: Case is founder and producer of the annual Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance that benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. The three-day event, featuring an antique and classic car show, is patterned after the decades-old upscale event held each year in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Hundreds of prominent community and business leaders, celebrities, industry notables and guests, are expected to converge in the name of charity. Last year, the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance raised nearly $1 million.
Marking its fifth year, the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance begins Friday at Boca Aviation at the Boca Raton Airport and runs through Sunday at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. This year, it celebrates another milestone: the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 with the first and one-time Legends of Indy Awards being presented to A.J. Foyt, the Unser family, Roger Penske, Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves.
Attendees will be able to meet and shake hands with race car Hall of Famers, bid on unique and rare Indy memorabilia, view race cars and bid to be a guest of Roger Penske at the 2011 Indianapolis 500.
It's a weekend of good will. "That's important in any business," said Case, "because, no matter how bad the economy is, you have to move forward."
The back story: Rick Case Automotive Group owns 16 car dealerships, including Honda, Hyundai, Acura and smart car outlets in Florida. Case and his wife and business partner, Rita, take the same value-added approach to non-profit events as they do in their business endeavors.
"You can't just ask people to simply step up and give money," he said. "They might do that once. Give them a show."
The Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance features a dinner auction; a hanger party at the Boca Raton Airport showcases luxury and exotic cars, motorcycles, boats, private and vintage aircraft. There's entertainment featuring Jay Leno. Award presentations also include the Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award this year to AutoNation founder H. Wayne Huizenga and the Lee Iacocca Award to Jay Leno for his dedication to the preservation of classic cars.
The Cases have founded other charitable endeavors: Rick Case Bikes for Kids and The Rendezvous, a three-day super yacht extravaganza that benefits Boys & Girls Clubs. Why charities for youth? "Children are the future," said Case.
The Boca Raton Concours committee is all-volunteer — no paid promoter or staff, said Case. "The hardest thing to give is time," said Case. "And when you can get people to do that, you've created passion. They're hooked."
The event drives local commerce through hotel stays, restaurant guests and other hospitality services for visiting dignitaries and attendees. It provides an opportunity for sponsors to sell their products.
"It's like running a business. It's a win-win situation," said Case.
The take away: "Give people what they can't get anywhere else," said Case. "It's how I run my business. Treat the customer as you would your very best friend. Do the same in the community. I treat every sponsor and guest as I would my best friend."
Motivate. "Once a salesman always a salesman, no matter what kind of business or charity you have," said Case. "You have to sell them the idea. But you have to be ethical. See the big picture. It's not about getting. It's about giving."
Create a cycle of success. Sponsors get exposure. Volunteers build new relationships. Attendees get entertained, and charity benefits, said Case. In turn, the community resource thrives as a beacon for children as it guides them to become responsible and productive citizens.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times