Saluting with Smoke event at Yorkville waterpark to benefit veterans

Amanda Herrera of Oswego, right, is promoting the Saluting with Smoke festival  Sept. 15 to 17 in Yorkville to benefit veterans. She is seen here on Aug. 15, 2023 with Veterans Assistance Commission of Kendall County Assistant Supervisor Karylin Clevenger.

The fourth annual Saluting with Smoke BBQ competition festival and fundraiser begins today and runs through Sunday at Yorkville’s Raging Waves Waterpark.

The event will benefit Mission Zero Hundred Hours, a local non-profit organization that seeks to bring the number of veteran suicides, now estimated at 20 per day, to zero.

Admission is free and will feature nine bands over the course of the three-day event, along with food trucks, a veteran-operated beer tent, carnival rides, drawings, craft vendors and children’s activities.

The event is sponsored by the Plano Skies Solar Project.

Mission Zero Hundred Hours, which references military time for midnight, was founded by Amanda Herrera and husband Sean Young of Oswego.

“It’s the start of a new day for veterans,” said Veterans Assistance Commission of Kendall County Assistant Superintendent Karylin Clevenger.

Information about the event is available on the Mission Zero Hundred Hours website at