Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pope's Fiat To Star At Philly Auto Show

A FIAT 500L used by Pope Francis during his historic visit to Philadelphia in September 2015, today helped to mark the official countdown until the opening of the 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show as it made a grand entrance into the Pennsylvania Convention Center during Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia’s “Mayor’s Drive-In.” 

One of three cars selected to kick-off the annual festivities with Mayor James F. Kenney, the FIAT 500L was driven by Chuck Keating, Band Director for Bishop Shanahan High School and father of Michael Keating, the young boy with cerebral palsy who Pope Francis blessed at the airport upon his arrival in Philadelphia.  Mr. Keating’s passenger in the Fiat for the Mayor’s Drive-In was Bobby Hill, the young performer from the Keystone State Boychoir who performed Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu” for Pope Francis at the Festival of Families. 

The FIAT 500L, which was donated to Archdiocese of Philadelphia by FCA US LLC (“FIAT Chrysler”), will be auctioned to the public at the annual Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday, January 29 at 8:45 p.m. EST.  The auction will be conducted by Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. and will allow for both in-person and remote bidding. The auction of “Pope Francis’ Philly FIAT” will benefit the Catholic Charities Appeal, Mercy Hospice, Casa Del Carmen and The Schools of Special Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Archbishop Ryan Academy for the Deaf, Saint Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairment, Saint Katherine Day School and Our Lady of Confidence). 

A second FIAT 500L, also used by Pope Francis in Philadelphia, will be on display to the general public for the duration of the Auto Show (Saturday, January 30 – Sunday, February 7).

“Since the Papal visit, so many people have expressed how meaningful Pope Francis’ use of the FIAT was in terms of his message of humility,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015.  “We are proud to be able to offer people in our community the chance to view one of these cars throughout the week of the Auto Show.  We are also so happy that Chuck Keating and Bobby Hill were able to help us mark this special moment, as their unexpected yet once-in-a-lifetime roles in the Papal visit have become just as iconic as the Fiat itself.  The Papal moments in which Chuck, with his family, and Bobby we part of moved so many to tears of joy – truly differentiating the Philadelphia visit from other cities.”

To participate in-person or remotely as a bidder for “Pope Francis’ Philly FIAT,” please contact Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. by visiting or calling 888.299.1438. To purchase tickets to The Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate, please visit  To purchase tickets to the Philadelphia Auto Show (January 30 – February 7), please visit    

For more information about the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and those non-profit organizations set to benefit from the auction of the Papal Fiat, please visit  For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, please visit For additional information regarding the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 official commemorative book and DVD, please visit:

About the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Founded in 1808, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is comprised of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia County in the southeastern part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the spiritual home for over 1.4 million Catholics in the region in 219 parishes. Through its parish elementary schools, high schools, and schools of special education, the Archdiocese molds tomorrow’s leaders through innovative 21st century learning programs. Through the ministries of Catholic Social Services, it provides care for over 200,000 members of the community who are most in need each year who come from a broad array of faith backgrounds.

About the World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015).  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

About the Black Tie Tailgate and the Philadelphia Auto Show
The 2016 Black Tie Tailgate on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, is produced by the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation. Guests will enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and live entertainment while getting a preview of the Show. Through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation, the Black Tie Tailgate proceeds benefit the Division of Neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Total giving since 1986 surpasses $6.3 million. Black Tie Tailgate tickets are $225 per person and can be purchased at  

The 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show, produced and owned by the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia, rolls into the Pennsylvania Convention Center Jan. 30 to Feb. 7. This year's event will feature 700 vehicles from more than 40 worldwide manufacturers. Highlights include an array of pre-production, hot production, classic, luxury, and exotic models. Ticket prices range from $7 to $14. For more information, visit

Sponsors of the 2016 Black Tie Tailgate

Grand Sponsors: Lexus and Mercedes-Benz;  Platinum Sponsors: Audi, Subaru and Toyota; Gold Sponsors: 6abc, Anabus, Aramark/SFS, Automotive Training Center, Buick GMC, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram/FIAT, Comcast Spotlight, Quality Plus Ford Dealers, Delaware Valley Honda Dealers, Hyundai Motors America, Kia Motors America, Lincoln Technical Institute, Nissan North America,  Philadelphia magazine, Philadelphia Media Network, Philadelphia Delaware and Southern NJ Porsche Dealers, Local Area Volkswagen Dealers; Silver Sponsors: Acura, Axalta Coating Systems, Berkadia, Biogen, Bozeken, Comcast SportsNet, ESSA Bank & Trust, Fox Rothschild LLP, Maxim Automotive, Mazda North America, PNC, and Zurich.

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