11th annual 'Barbeque for the Troops' set for July

An effort to support U.S. service men and women returns for its 11th year next month as the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) hosts its annual Barbeque for the Troops.

Partnering with the USO, the event aims to raise funds for service members.

On Tuesday, a preview of this year's fundraiser revealed that car dealerships throughout the Chicago area will fire up grills to support the USO and its global work for service members. Over the past decade, the event has grown from a small luncheon to a major fundraiser, raising more than $1 million to support USO programs and services.

The annual event, scheduled for Saturday, July 13, features not only delicious food but also a car showcase with classic cars at participating dealerships. Organizers emphasize the event’s fundraising mission.

"Supporting the USO and local service members is a cause everyone can rally behind, and what better organization to drive the effort than the local car dealers who are already pillars of their communities," an organizer said. "Many of the dealers here today put on unique community fundraisers from bounce houses to special military presentations."

In addition to enjoying the barbeque and car showcase, attendees can participate in test drives for donations and contribute funds on-site. Donations can also be made online at DriveChicago.com.

A full list of participating dealerships is available on the Chicago Automobile Trade Association’s website.