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WPC Museum raises more than $1 million with gala event

by Bill Cawthon on

Saturday’s sold-out Legacy Gala brought the Walter P. Chrysler Museum’s fundraising efforts to more than $1 million to date. The Gala celebrated 85 years of Chrysler heritage and kicked off the Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Campaign, a multi-year, multi-million initiative designed to ensure the Museum’s long-term viability.

“The Legacy Gala was a coming out party, of sorts, to tell the world we’re now a nonprofit, dedicated as ever to showcasing Chrysler’s rich heritage for decades to come,” said Frank Fountain, chairman of the museum’s board of directors. “What better way than with a joyous celebration of decades of creativity and ingenuity that began with the inspiration and passion of one very enterprising man?”

In addition to tickets and sponsorships, fundraising events included auctions. Among the items up for bids were:

A Day with Richard Petty featuring a tour of Petty’s Garage in North Carolina and a visit to the Richard Petty Museum and Victory Junction Gang Camp, serving children with serious illnesses on 84 acres of land donated by Richard and Lynda Petty.
Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage and tickets to “The Tonight Show” including a private tour of Jay Leno’s 17,000 square-foot Big Dog Garage in southern California.
Chrysler Tech Center Behind-the-Scenes Tour with Ralph Gilles, Dodge CEO and Chrysler’s senior v-p of product design, at the Chrysler Technology Center.
Chrysler Historical Vehicle Collection Behind-the-Scenes Tour with Brandt Rosenbusch, Manager of the Chrysler Historical Vehicle Collection.
SRT Track Experience at the Michigan International Speedway including guidance by professional instructors from the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
2011 Daytona 500 all exclusive weekend passes including tickets and two VIP credentials for race.

For additional information about the Museum, please visit

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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