Pebble Beach Car Events Raise More Than $1.1 million For Charities

Sheryl Crow and Jay Leno. opyright 2011 by Kimball Studios Courtesy of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Some of the world’s most exquisite automobiles won awards during Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but the event’s impressive charitable component made winners of several community organizations, as well.

This year’s prestigious car competition raised more than $1.1 million for local charities, including Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Animal Friends Rescue Project, Kinship Center, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County. Representatives of those organizations were on hand at the event, as were college students studying auto restoration, engineering and related subjects thanks to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation’s Phil Hill Scholarships.

During Sunday afternoon’s award ceremony, emcee Jay Leno took a break to announce the results of a raffle that generated money for nonprofits. The comedian joked with spectators and the winners of Rolex watches, diamond earrings, cars and other prizes. He then extended the charitable impact by announcing an impromptu fundraising package of his own: Concours attendees were invited to purchase two “Tonight Show” tickets and a tour of Leno’s garage for $1,000, and all proceeds went directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs. The move raised more than $40,000.

While on stage, Leno also introduced singer Sheryl Crow, who donated her 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster to Gooding & Company’s annual Pebble Beach Auctions as a benefit for tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri. The car brought in $130,000 for school re-building efforts carried out by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

During the past 60 years, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has generated more than $15 million for local, national and international organizations.