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2nd annual USO fundraiser July 19

May 9, 2014
Throughout their country’s history, Americans have felt profound appreciation and gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice of U.S. troops and their families. In that vein, scores of area new-car dealerships last summer raised $37,500 by hosting fundraiser barbecues, with all proceeds donated to USO programs that support deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers, and families of the fallen.
Circle July 19 as the second annual USO Barbecue for the Troops to be coordinated by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association. The inaugural event in 2013 was conceived by Rob Paddor, who owns Evanston Subaru in Skokie and is a board member of USO of Illinois.
The USO, a nonprofit, non-political organization, has for 70 years provided Americans with a tangible way to express appreciation and gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice of the nation’s troops and their families. 
"The CATA’s participation in USO Barbecue for the Troops has raised the bar in grassroots support, both locally for our USO of Illinois, and nationally at USO locations across the country," USO of Illinois President Alison Ruble said following last year’s barbecues. "Their expression of gratitude, collectively through this initiative, is an inspiration and will be of great support to USO of Illinois military support programs and services."
The CATA will arrange for radio advertising and is working with many radio, print, television and social media partners to develop an aggressive promotional campaign leading up to July 19. All CATA messaging will direct individuals to to find participating dealers nearby. Host dealers will be highlighted on DriveChicago, with links to information on specific events. 
 Dealers who want to join the fundraiser should contact the CATA’s marketing director, Tim McBride, at (630) 424-6085 or
Some of last year’s fundraising activities included:
• Car Washes, with dealers asking for donations
• Lunch specials for employees and their families and friends. Leave the brown bag at home and eat in, to support the troops
• Cornhole/Bags Games. No American barbecue is complete without a cornhole/bags tourney!
• On Demand DJ, with donations made for song requests
• Social Media Donations. Enlist employees to promote the dealership’s USO Barbecue for the Troops through their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and similar accounts, to collect additional donations through an event page.