Jersey Mike’s Subs ‘Month of Giving’ campaign will grant more than 35 life-changing wishes

Scott Jacobs

MONROE — More than 35 life-changing wishes can be granted for children with critical illnesses as Jersey Mike’s Subs closed its annual “Month of Giving” campaign.

In March, Jersey Mike’s Subs joined forces with its customers to support Make-A-Wish New Jersey during its eighth annual Month of Giving campaign, which raised $377,492.

“Throughout our 35-year history in New Jersey, we have come to know that a wish has the ability to transform a child’s life during some of their most difficult trials,” said Tom Weatherall, president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish New Jersey. “A wish creates an opportunity for hope and the ability to experience life beyond illness. Our friends at Jersey Mike’s Subs and their loyal and generous customers understand the impact of a wish. We are grateful and deeply humbled to have been selected as their charity partner in New Jersey once again.”

Weatherall said the funds raised during this year’s campaign will be converted into wishes immediately.

“Our wish kids live in the same communities as Jersey Mike’s customers,” he said, noting close to 40 wishes will be granted. “It’s no surprise then that this partnership resonates with all involved and how deeply grateful we are for that.”

To kick off Jersey Mike’s campaign, Make-A-Wish New Jersey lit up its home base at the Samuel and Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place on Perrineville Road in red and blue, the official colors of Jersey Mike’s Subs.

Jackson Sharkey, 5, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and David Pagan, 4, who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, were recipients of wishes last year. The youngsters, who are both from Old Bridge, and their families spent a week at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Jackson and David helped Make-A-Wish New Jersey as ambassadors for the Month of Giving campaign.

The campaign culminated on March 28 with Jersey Mike’s Subs “Day of Giving” when the 60 participating local restaurants donated 100 percent of the day’s sales to more than 170 different charities including Make-A-Wish New Jersey. This year was the second year Jersey Mike’s is partnering with Make-a-Wish New Jersey.

Nationally, Jersey Mike’s raised more than $6 million for more than 170 local charities.

Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, Make-A-Wish New Jersey has created life-changing wishes for almost 10,000 children in the Garden State since 1983.

Make-A-Wish New Jersey granted a record 530 wishes in its most recent fiscal year, and with a goal of granting well over 500 wishes again this year, the generous support of corporations like Jersey Mike’s Subs is critical to the organization’s continued success.

Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s founder and chief executive officer, said his business’ mission statement has always been focused on making a difference in people’s lives.

“The over $6 million raised this March will go a long way toward supporting the good work of our local partner charities,” he said, adding he wanted to thank the customers, franchise owners, team members and charity partners who helped raise the funds during the campaign.

Cancro, who bought his first sub shop at age 17, credits two local businessmen in Point Pleasant Beach where he grew up — Jack Baker of Baker’s Lobster Shanty and Bob Hoffman of Hoffman’s Ice Cream — with showing him the importance of giving unconditionally to the community.

“Giving, making a difference in someone’s life, has been the mission of Jersey Mike’s from the beginning,” he said.

Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $28 million for worthy local charities and have distributed more than two million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes.

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@newspapermediagroup.com.