For the third year in a row, Jersey Mike’s Subs will celebrate “Christmas in July,” holding a nationwide fundraising and awareness building campaign for Wreaths Across America (WAA).
From Saturday, June 30, through Sunday, July 15, Jersey Mike’s restaurants throughout the nation will collect donations and match them for this non-profit organization, which lays thousands of wreaths at the graves of the nation’s veterans on National Wreaths Across America Day each December.
Additionally, if Jersey Mike’s gets 100,000 “likes” on its Facebook page  by July 15, the company will donate an additional $25,000 to the organization. (Watch this moving video  for more about WAA’s mission)
“As we celebrate our nation’s independence, Jersey Mike’s proudly joins and supports Wreaths Across America in its mission to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and their families, and teach our children the value of freedom,” says Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s founder and CEO. “This year, we hope to raise enough money for Wreaths Across America to place a wreath at every fallen hero’s headstone at Arlington National Cemetery.”
In 2011, with the help of its customers, Jersey Mike’s raised $100,000, which helped WAA place 90,000 wreaths during National Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery this past December. This year, Jersey Mike’s hopes to raise enough money to help lay 225,000 wreaths at the annual event, scheduled for December 15, 2012. Cancro as well as other Jersey Mike’s executives and franchisees plan to participate in the ceremonies.
Along with recognizing the sacrifices of the past and present, Wreaths Across America counts educating children as one of the chief missions of its campaign. Each year many students make the annual trip to Arlington National Cemetery to participate in the wreath-laying ceremonies.
“The biggest danger to our country isn’t what’s going on with the economy or with politicians fighting over opposing ideas. The biggest danger is that our kids don’t learn the value of freedom and make a connection with their heritage,” says Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “When children place that wreath and they read the name of someone who gave up their life at 19, they start to make a connection.”
During the two-week promotion, Jersey Mike’s will show in each of its restaurants a video of a special concert organized by Jersey Mike’s to raise awareness for Wreaths Across America. Held in June aboard the historic Battleship New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey, the concert featured performances by country singer Corey Wagar, Broadway star Mary D’Arcy, the Liberty Bells, and the 63rd Army Band as well as Holiday Express, a group of professional musician volunteers. The 10-minute video includes a personal appeal from Cancro asking customers to support the cause.
“We are so appreciative for the continued support of Jersey Mike’s Subs,” Worcester says. “Without them and other sponsors, we would not be able to do what we do each year. This is important work.”
Customers can easily donate to the cause by selecting a $1, $3 or $5 tear-off sheet and presenting it at the register.