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the value of the dealer franchise system

About the program

Nine 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, this year’s fundraising total of $81,000 brings the program’s lifetime total to over $1 million raised for USO Illinois!

Participating is easy and rewarding

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.

You can read a full recap of this year’s event here.

If you’re interested in participating in the 2023 event, please click here to put your name on next year’s list.


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

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