The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), Chicagoland's new-car dealer association, donated $1,500 to support the Jason McKie Foundation. Founded by former Chicago Bears player Jason McKie in 2008, the charitable group helps raise funds and spread advocacy for local veterans. McKie grew up on the military base as his father served as a master sergeant for the United State Air Force and continues to serve as a government contractor in the Pentagon. Muller Acura of Merrillville already contributed $2,000 to support the foundation, and its dealer principal Glenn Muller even competed in a charitable boxing match last month to help raise additional funds and awareness for the veteran-oriented organization.
"While there are many honorable national organizations that help support military and veterans, I felt there was an opportunity to create a foundation that helps support local veterans to give back to all they've sacrificed in the name of our country," said Jason McKie, founder of the Jason McKie Foundation for veterans. "It's people like Glenn Muller and organizations like Muller Acura of Merrillville that help drive our organization's mission forward - it's a great example of neighbors helping neighbors."
Through the foundation, McKie has been able to establish scholarships for military dependents, whose parents have been severely injured. Additionally, the foundation gives away tickets to various sporting events, donates holiday gift cards and provides emergency assistance for medical and financial bills for military families.
Muller Acura of Merrillville was introduced to Jason McKie through a local boxing gym. Muller has a passion for boxing, as does McKie, and the love of the sport brought them together to make a positive impact in the community.
"I find it extremely admirable that Jason McKie wanted to bring advocacy to military groups on a local level; he's an example of someone who uses his status in such a positive way to help shed light on some of the people who need the most support," said Muller. "I am now a board member of the organization to help oversee the fundraising initiatives as I truly believe in the foundation and fully support the cause."
Charities and civic organizations know that Chicagoland new-car dealers are an integral part of their communities and are often deeply involved in charitable causes. However, dealers rarely receive the recognition they deserve for their ongoing efforts. The CATA created the Chicagoland Dealers Care program in 2008 to help bring awareness to causes that matter the most to local dealers and to lend additional financial support. Since its inception, the program has donated more than $60,000 to local charitable organizations supported by new-car dealers.
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