CHICAGO, Aug. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On July 16, 80 Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) dealers fired up their grills and hosted individual community fundraising events, collectively raising $160,000 – the highest amount to date – for the USO of Illinois.
“This is the fourth year that the CATA has partnered with the USO of Illinois on the Barbecue for the Troops effort, and we’re thrilled that this program continues to gain momentum,” said CATA Chairman John Hennessy. “It doesn’t come as a surprise. Dealers are deeply rooted within their communities and this cause truly resonates with everyone. Rallying their communities in support of the USO of Illinois is one way dealers can show gratitude for all that U.S. troops do to keep us safe each and every day.”
Since the campaign’s launch in 2013, Chicagoland’s new-car dealers have raised more than $420,000 for the USO of Illinois, quite a feat for an initiative that started as a grassroots program where dealers would agree to set out a grill and a tin can. This past July, Chicagoans who visited their local new-car dealer’s Barbecue for the Troops event found everything from patriotic ceremonies – including 21 gun salutes and the national anthem sung by American Idol stars – to giant inflatables for kids, to classic car shows, all to help draw interest and crowds to raise money for local troops.
To help raise additional awareness for the dealership fundraisers, the CATA coordinated a #BBQ4Troops social media contest where one winner would be selected to receive the Ultimate Backyard Barbecue, a catered barbecue meal by Real Urban Barbecue for 50 friends and a special visit from Chicago Blackhawks great Tony Esposito. Rebecca Wilson from Oak Lawn was selected as the winner for her entry, which received 415 Facebook votes. She nominated her fiancé, a U.S. Army veteran, who will receive his Ultimate Backyard Barbecue later this summer.
About the USO of Illinois
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. Supporting over 330,000 troops and their families every year, the USO of Illinois is a civilian 501(c)(3) non-profit that is supported solely by the generosity of the American people. For more information about the USO of Illinois, visit: www.usoofillinois.org.
SOURCE Chicago Automobile Trade Association