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On Saturday, July 15, more than 80 Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana dealers fired-up their grills to raise money for the USO Illinois. The fundraisers ranged from small lunches, to full community festivals featuring patriotic ceremonies, classic car shows, live music, family games and more.

To date, more than $44,000 has been raised, and we are just getting started! Online fundraising is open throughout the month of July. If you would like to support the cause, you can donate here.

The check presentation to the USO Illinois with the final fundraising total will be take place at the USO's annual Clark After Dark summer festival on August 17.

This anniversary year is a special time to recognize and thank the dealerships who have participated every year over

the last 10 years:

  • Apple Chevrolet
  • Arlington Heights Ford
  • Evanston Subaru
  • Haggerty Buick GMC
  • Hennessy's River View Ford
  • Ray Chevrolet
  • Raymond Chevrolet
  • Raymond Kia
  • Wickstrom Auto Group

And to welcome our first year participants this year:

  • Acura Highland Park
  • Ettleson Cadillac Buick GMC
  • Fox Ford Lincoln of Chicago
  • Hawk Nissan of St. Charles
  • Thomas Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Lastly, we would like to give a special thank you to all of our media partners who helped make this year's events a success. Below are links to just a few pieces of coverage from the BBQ events.


Ten years ago, the CATA and area new-car dealers partnered with the USO Illinois to create the Barbecue for the Troops campaign to raise money for our local troops and their families. What started as a few hot dogs and tin can has now grown into an annual festival which brings in thousands of dollars. In fact, the program’s lifetime total is over $1 million raised for USO Illinois!


As a participating dealer, the CATA will provide you with a starter kit of marketing materials you will need to get started including outdoor signage, posters and a social media toolkit. The CATA also runs an area-wide marketing and advertising campaign which includes a listing of all participating dealers and is an excellent opportunity for media exposure. The 2022 event had 63 participating new-car dealers who hosted events that ranged from online fundraisers, to full-blown community summer festivals that included 21 gun salute, live music, bouncy houses, and, of course, a delicious barbecue meal. As we know, dealers have deep roots in their communities and by participating in the Barbecue for the Troops program, dealers can further connect with their customers and contribute to a great cause.

<< All album photos 18/22 photos

Should you need assistance with your registration, please contact Olivia Alfirevich at or 630-424-6035.

Chicago Automobile Trade Association
18W200 Butterfield Rd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 
(630) 495-2282


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