Ben Wallace Joins the 39th Annual Drive for Life Foundation Gala as Special Guest Speaker

Kalamazoo, MI, September 11, 2021 –(– The Drive for Life Foundation Charity Gala, in benefit of the American Cancer Society and other Kalamazoo-area charities, will be held this upcoming Monday, September 13, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at 100 W. Michigan Ave.

The event, which is presented by Zeigler Auto Group, Greenleaf Trust, Brown & Brown Dealer Services, and Huntington Bank, will feature former professional basketball player and entrepreneur Ben Wallace. As a five-time All-NBA selection, four-time defensive player of the year, and member of the 2004 Pistons championship team—Wallace is regarded by many to be the greatest undrafted player in NBA history. Now a class of 2021 honoree for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, he continues to build his legacy through his work as minority owner and president of basketball operations of the Grand Rapids Gold of the NBA G League.

Wallace will be joining the Drive for Life Foundation for the annual gala as a special guest speaker just two days after his induction into the Hall of Fame. “I think it’s important for me to use my platform to bring awareness and to let people know that it’s time to go to war, and go to battle, against this disease because it has affected every last one of us. We all know somebody, we are all close to somebody, that has been affected by cancer, and it’s time to fight this disease,” said Wallace.

After its cancellation last year due to COVID-19, 2021 will mark the 39th installment of the event, raising over $3 Million since its debut under Harold Zeigler in 1982. As always, all proceeds from the Drive for Life Foundation Charity Gala will go directly to its beneficiaries, with Zeigler Auto Group covering all costs associated with the event.

“For me, and I know for the rest of the Zeigler family, it’s truly an honor to be able to give back, not just to the charities themselves but to the people behind the scenes who tirelessly run these organizations for the good of the community. We will forever be grateful for all of their hard work and all the good that they do in the area,” Aaron J. Zeigler, president of Zeigler Auto Group.

This year’s recipients include the American Cancer Society, Make-a-Wish Foundation, 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.

“We have been lucky enough to be a beneficiary of the Drive For Life Foundation for many years, and having their support has been instrumental in keeping our mission of freeing the world of cancer alive. The donations we receive from this event helps us offer support year-round for those in our community who need it most,” said Cindy Kovacik, senior development manager of the American Cancer Society of Kalamazoo.

The event will include a social cocktail hour, a silent auction, a live auction, and a chance to win a new Honda Accord or $30,000 cash. Each $250 ticket will admit two guests and is redeemable for one entry into the new car or cash prize drawing. To purchase a ticket or for additional information, please call Beth Kalleward at (269) 488-2203 or email Media requests to cover the event are available on a first come first serve basis, please email Francis Mariela at to reserve your spot.

Grand Prize Drawing: New 2021 Honda Accord or $30,000

Silent Auction Details:
-Kirk Cousins Signed MSU Full Size Helmet
-Gale Sayers Signed Chicago Bears Jersey – Framed
-Stan Lee Signed Hulk Comic – Framed
-Pete Rose Signed Reds Jersey
-Kid Rock & Bob Seger Concert Photo – Framed
-Magic Johnson Signed Lansing High Jersey
-Toby Keith Signed Acoustic Guitar
-The Beatles Signed Checks – Framed
-Carroll Shelby Signed Limited Edition Print – Framed
-Jack Nicklaus Signed Photo – Framed
-Jerome Bettis Signed Notre Dame Helmet
-Derek Jeter Signed Picture – Framed
-Michael Jordan Tribute – Framed
-Stunning Dark Freshwater Pearls Necklace
-Gorgeous Diamond Earrings
-Fashionable Coach Women’s Handbag
-Beautiful Rose Gold Ring

Live Auction Details:
-Ball Hard with Ben – Ben Wallace Personalized Signed Basketball & Picture – $500/ball – Courtesy: Ben Wallace

-Fly High Kalamazoo – Helicopter Ride for 3 with your choice of Kalamazoo region- Courtesy: Steve Jbara

-Float Among the Clouds – Champagne Hot Air Balloon Ride for 2 with Zeigler Auto Group’s very own World-renowned Balloon Pilot Derrick Jones – Courtesy: Zeigler Auto Group

-A Luxury Trip to the Windy City- 4-Day/3-Night Stay for 4 in a 2-bedroom sky rise condo, on the 74th floor of the Trump Tower Chicago overlooking the Chicago River – Courtesy: Aaron J. Zeigler

-Wine & Dine on Gull Lake – Premier Wine & Dine Experience for 16 at Aaron & Bonnie Zeigler’s Exclusive Gull Lake Home prepared by the Radisson’s finest Executive Chefs paired with wines from the Zeigler’s personal wine reserves – Courtesy: Aaron and Bonnie Zeigler & the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites

-Soak up the Sun (2 Packages Available) – 5-Day/4-Night for 4 in a Fort Myers Beach Resort Condo overlooking the ocean with access to resort pool – Courtesy: Bill & Wanda O’Hara

-Close to the Action – Courtside Tickets for 2; Lower Bowl Tickets for 8 at a MSU Spartan Basketball Game – Get close to the action as the Spartans compete in one of the toughest conferences in College Basketball – Courtesy: Zeigler Auto Group

-A Leap to Lambeau – Private Jet & Suite Accommodations for 4 at Lambeau Field – Green Bay, Wisconsin – Root on the Pack in luxurious style as you depart Kalamazoo on a private jet before touching down in Green Bay and heading over to your very own luxury suite for 4. – Courtesy: Zeigler Auto Group & Jim & Sue Marriott

-Suite Life in the Motor City – Suite accommodations for 10 – Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, Michigan – Get ready to cheer on the Red Wings or the Pistons from your very own private Suite with food and beverages for 10, and plenty of fun for everyone. – Courtesy: Huntington Bank

-Ocean Views for Days – 116’ Luxury Yacht Charter – 4-Day/3-Night Experience for 6 | Includes Captain, Crew, and Chef to make this a one-of-a-kind experience abroad the newly redesigned Ocean Alexander 35R – Courtesy Harold & Bonnie Zeigler

Sponsor & Donor List:
-Presenting sponsors: Zeigler Auto Group, Greenleaf Trust, Brown & Brown Dealer Services, and Huntington Bank

-Platinum sponsor: Zeigler Honda of Kalamazoo

-Diamond sponsors: ACV Auctions, AutoFX, CDK Global, Consumers Credit Union, Cox Automotive, Keyser Auto Owners Insurance, Varnum Attorneys At Law, and Vesco Oil Corporation

-Ruby sponsors: America’s Auto Body, Brookville Auto Group, CarGurus,, -iHeartMedia, Meritain Health, Premiere Motorsports, SEELYE Auto Group, Sturgis Molded Products, TCF Bank, WSI Staffing & Recruiting, and Zurich

-Emerald sponsors: Affinitiv Advertising, a.j. Veneklasen, Ally, AutomotiveMastermind, Accelerate Venture Holdings, BG Products, Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network of Michigan, Grant Cardone Enterprises, CarNow, Collision Service Center of Schaumburg, CF Search Marketing, Crowe, D.L. Gallivan Office Solutions, DealerWing, Delta Dental, DPS Automotive Group, Edmunds, Experian, Nulty Insurance, Fleece Oil Co., Podium, Schupan, True Car, MarketPro3, TSC Tyler Supply Company, VIN Logic, and the Carole & Kevin Chase Foundation.

-Additional donors: Big Time Advertising, Dealer Tire, Evertrac LLC, Hunter Engineering Company, Jaqua Realtors, Craig Christman, MagnetiQ Brands, Master’s Touch Interiors, Sun Life Financial, Town & Country Electric, US Bank, Without a Trace Dent Repair, and ZET, Inc.

-Video & Photography: Absolute Videos
-Event Program: EPI Marketing Services
-Event Sponsor Boards: REV Screen Print LLC

About Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace is a professional basketball player regarded by many as the greatest undrafted player in NBA history. He is a five-time All-NBA selection, four-time defensive player of the year, and member of the 2004 Pistons championship team.
Currently he is a minority owner and president of basketball operations of the Grand Rapids Gold of the NBA G League. He was also recently selected to the 2021 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class.

About The Drive For Life Foundation
For nearly 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 Foundation Charity Gala is presented by Zeigler Auto Group, Greenleaf Trust, Brown & Brown Dealer Services and Huntington Bank and benefits the American Cancer Society and other local charities with over $400,000 in annual support. For more information, please visit, plus stay up to date with us by following @driveforlifeorg across all social media channels.

About Zeigler Auto 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 Chicago and Michigan.