Chicagoland’s new-car dealers are once again on a summertime mission to raise awareness and funds for local military and their families. For the ninth year, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) and its dealer members have partnered with USO Illinois to host Barbecue for the Troops grassroots community fundraising events throughout the area on Saturday, July 16. To date, more than 60 dealerships have signed on to support the cause, and are planning to offer everything from patriotic ceremonies, classic car shows, live music, games for kids of all ages and – of course – barbecue.
Over the past nine years, CATA dealers have rallied to raise more than $950,000 to support USO Illinois programs and services with nearly 600 fundraisers taking place. These funds enable USO Illinois to lend support to more than 300,000 service members and their families annually.
“This year is an especially exciting year as we are on the precipice of raising $1 million for USO Illinois over our nine-year partnership,” said CATA Chairman JC Phelan. “We weren’t able to fully execute this event the past two years due to the pandemic, but we are thrilled to bring back this amazing campaign in its full capacity this July to help the USO Illinois at a time when they desperately need funding for local troops and their families.”
“For the ninth year, USO Illinois is proud to partner with the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and local new-car dealers for the USO Barbecue for the Troops initiative,” said USO Illinois Executive Director Chris Schmidt.
“The USO Barbecue for the Troops program has raised more than $950,000 to support military service members and their families, right here in Illinois. The support of service members’ hometown communities and local new-car dealerships has allowed USO Illinois to positively impact more than 300,000 service members and their families annually through hundreds of programs and services as well as our 10 USO Centers across Illinois. Neighbors helping neighbors through initiatives like Barbecue for the Troops makes communities even stronger and joining your local dealership for their BBQ in July is a great way to get involved! From USO Illinois and all those who serve our nation, we thank you for your generous support,” Schmidt continued.
For those who can’t visit a dealer USO Barbecue for the Troops event on July 16, there’s still an opportunity to get into the action via social media. Today through the end of the month, the CATA and USO Illinois are accepting contest entries for the Ultimate Backyard Barbecue, including a new grill and delicious BBQ fare from Mission BBQ. To enter, complete the online contest entry form or visit DriveChicago.com for more details. The winner will be announced on or around August 15.
To find the full listing of CATA dealer USO Barbecue for the Troops fundraisers, visit DriveChicago.com. For more information about USO Illinois, visit Illinois.USO.org.