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Time's a-wastin' to sign up to host a July 18 USO barbecue fundraiser

June 19, 2015
For dealerships considering whether to participate in the upcoming USO fundraiser, consider this: It is vital to register right away in order to be included in the various promotions planned by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association.
The CATA has arranged 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 18. 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.
After the print ads are developed, it might not be possible to add registration latecomers.
The registration process can be completed in two simple steps: First, visit, and click on the "Register Here" button. Second, email your dealership name and contact information to Tim McBride, the CATA’s marketing director, at McBride also can be reached at (630) 424-6085.
Advance planning for the event included a May 19 meeting at the CATA to help dealerships think of ways to enhance their barbecues and potentially raise more money. All proceeds collected will be donated to USO programs that support deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers, and families of the fallen.
Some of the planned fundraising activities from past years include:
• Car Wash, with dealers asking for donations
• Lunch special for employees and their families and friends. They can 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.
Jessica Dolan, vice president of development for USO of Illinois, said the $90,000 raised by participating dealers last year enabled the USO to operate the state’s five USO centers for about four months and serve 28,000 service members and their families.
The USO, a nonprofit, non-political organization, has for 72 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.