CHICAGO (WLS) -- A nine-year tradition returned to Tinley Park, with all of it in a bigger effort to raise money for the United Service Organizations.
The money directly benefits thousands of active military members and their families.
"What you get, you give back. There's no doubt that I've seen that in the community for years and years. We do a lot of events, but this USO is special in our hearts," said Apple Chevrolet Dealer Operator John Alfirevich.
The dealership in Tinley Park is one of 65 participating across the state for Saturday's USO BBQ for the Troops. Music, all sorts of food and even a dunk tank to brought the community together.
"It's got a good vibe. People that are here love America," Alfirevich said.
The expectation is to raise $10,000 through the event and hopefully surpass the organization's overall goal of $1 million raised within the last decade.
"This is really critical community support for our military families," USO President Allison Ruble. "It helps us deliver morale support, care packages... We're there when they deploy. We're there when they come home."
These funds directly impact more than 300,000 troops and their families annually. Some veterans in attendance know just how critical that help is.
"Without the USO, off a camp in Oceanside, California, we were lost. We had nowhere to go, but those people treated us like we were something special, which were giving back now," one attendee said.
One of the fan-favorites when it comes to this annual event is the classic cars. A long-lasting car club in Lemont makes it a tradition to bring them in hopes of raising even more money for the troops.
"It's for the troops. That's why we come every year to this," said Mike Monaco, an attendee.