Wawa Hoagie Day Kicks Off $700,000 Fundraising Campaign for the USO

PHILADELPHIA—Wawa chose America’s birthplace on Independence Day weekend to launch its most ambitious campaign yet to support the USO.

Celebrity chef and USO tour veteran Robert Irvine joined Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens and hundreds of service members, police officers, fire fighters and first responders as well as dozens of USO volunteers and Wawa associates to construct a 5-ton hoagie on Thursday. The meal – which equated to 23,000 individual sandwiches – was served for free at Independence Mall during the 23rd Annual Wawa Hoagie Day.

“There’s nothing more fulfilling to me in my life than cooking for our warriors and their families and making sure that they know that we love them,” said Irvine, who recently returned from a USO tour to Japan. “The USO is a huge part of that.”

The event, which featured a USO Letters from Home station and hoagie-building competitions between service branches and police and fire departments, marked the start of Wawa’s annual USO fundraising campaign. The campaign runs through August 30 and aims to raise $700,000. Wawa customers can to donate $1, $3 or $5 when making purchases, which will go directly to support USO programs for troops and their families.

“For July fourth there’s no other place you should be than Philadelphia,” said Joe Brooks, President and CEO of Liberty USO. “It’s a wonderful community. A community that knows and understands the service and sacrifice of our military and it’s a community that steps up in many ways, both in donations of their time and money to the USO.”

Wawa Welcomes America with Hoagies

Last week Wawa kicked off its Independence Day celebrations in Philadelphia with a special Hoagie Day –  an afternoon full of singing, food and thanking our troops!

Hundreds of thank you notes were collected and will be sent to troops overseas!

That morning over 200 Wawa associates came together to make more than 4.5 tons of hoagie to feed event attendees! Thousands of people came out to eat and write messages of thanks to the troops at the Liberty USO tent!

Anyone know where we can find an extra large ATM?

Wawa celebrated an amazing two weeks of fundraising for the USO by giving us a check for $100,000! The campaign isn’t over yet- be sure to stop by your closest Wawa and drop in some change for the USO – maybe we can double that!

Finally, the USO Liberty Bells closed out the festivities by performing a medley of songs that got everyone up and dancing! Thanks Wawa for all your support and dedication to our military! – Vyque Elessar, USO Director of New Media