2018 Range Rover Velar Helps Generate More Than $500,000 for a Good Cause

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jaguarforums.com Jaguar Land Rover Range Rover Velar Ellie Goulding

Auction of the new mid-size Range Rover SUV and other items at the 18th Annual Gala Preview of the 2017 New York International Auto Show raises money to support the East Side House Settlement.

People from all over the world are in the Big Apple right now to see the 2017 New York International Auto Show. More than 1,200 attended last week’s 18th Annual Gala Preview. Only one person made the winning bid for the first 2018 Range Rover Velar in the U.S.

Earlier in the week, Ellie Goulding welcomed the model that will fit in between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport by performing a concert at Hearst Plaza, Lincoln Center. She made no secret of her affinity for the brand, saying, “I have always been a big Range Rover fan and it was a pleasure to be a part of its launch here in the US.”

The winning bidder for USDM Velar #1 got more than just bragging rights, though. They got the satisfaction of knowing they contributed to helping the less fortunate by opening their checkbook for the new mid-size off-roader. Their money, in addition to the money spent by other gala attendees from the worlds of finance, fashion, society, and philanthropy on auction items that included a one-year lease of a 2018 Land Rover Discovery, an Aman:USA luxury travel package, and a weekend at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, added up to a more than $500,000 donation to East Side House Settlement. According to a Land Rover press release, East Side House Settlement is “a community-based nonprofit organization providing education and social services throughout the Bronx and northern Manhattan.”

Let’s just hope that whoever won the Velar leaves the pavement behind and takes it off-road. The Velar may not be free, but mud sure is.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK-Forum.com and Ford-Trucks.com, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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