The 10th annual USO Barbecue for the Troops event, organized by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), successfully raised a commendable sum of $100,453. Collaborating with the USO, over 80 regional new-car dealerships took the initiative, garnering community participation for this noble cause. Held on July 15, the fundraiser was a blend of patriotic celebrations, vintage car displays, live performances, enjoyable games for children, and, undeniably, delectable barbecues.
CATA Chairwoman, Kelly Webb Roberts, expressed her delight, saying, “Achieving a fundraising milestone of over $100,000 this year signifies the immense potential of Chicagoland new-car dealers when uniting communities for a shared purpose.” As they marked the 10th year of this partnership, she showed enthusiasm for continuous support for the USO and local military families in the coming decade.
The cumulative donations over the past ten years have now crossed the impressive mark of $1.1 million. This sustained commitment has fortified the USO in aiding over 300,000 military personnel and their kin each year.
Christopher Schmidt, the USO Illinois Executive Director, conveyed his gratitude to CATA and local dealerships, emphasizing the significance of the funds raised. He added, “The unwavering decade-long support has generated a staggering $1.1 million, ensuring the well-being of our dedicated service members and their loved ones.”
The fundraising journey culminated in the USO’s annual festivity, Clark After Dark, in downtown Chicago, where CATA board members proudly handed over the check to the USO.
Webb Roberts concluded by acknowledging the role of media partners. She extended her appreciation, stating, “Their efforts amplified our reach, ensuring the fundraiser’s success. A notable mention goes to ABC 7 Chicago for their outstanding promotional TV segment, elevating the event’s visibility across the region.”