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Hundreds Barbecuing for the Troops This Summer

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

From Staff Reports  

The summer may be drawing to a close, but Barbecue for the Troops events are still flaring up around the United States.

Nearly 950 people have registered to host events at barbecueforthetroops.org, including two big events in the last month.

Fox News reporter Elizabeth Prann and her husband, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Darren O'Day, hosted a USO Barbecue for the Troops for more than 180 attendees on Aug. 4 in the pavilion area of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Guests included 18 wounded, ill and injured troops and their families from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and 10 Orioles players.

"We loved telling our heroes in person how much we appreciated them," Prann said in an email.

Prann said the event had raised roughly $17,000 through last week – including a $5,000 donation from the Orioles. That number is expected to climb, with donations still coming in through a hat auction the Orioles ran online to support the event. You can see more photos from the event on the Orioles' Twitter account.

Two weeks before Prann's event, the USO of Illinois teamed with the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) to host Barbecue for the Troops events at nearly 70 dealerships. The July 20 event – conceived by USO of Illinois Board Member Rob Paddor, who owns Evanston Subaru in Skokie, Ill. – featured free car washes at select locations. The events combined to raise at least $36,500.

"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. "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."

It's not too late to show your appreciation for America's military by hosting a Barbecue for the Troops. Find out more by going to barbecueforthetroops.org or call 1-855-4USO-BBQ.

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