June 27, 2017 13:12 ET

Celebrating Wawa's 25th Annual Hoagie Day: Honoring History Makers in America's Birthplace

WMMR's Preston Elliot and Casey Foster Join USO, History Makers, Hoagie Heroes, Delaware Bay Coast Guard and Army and Air National Guard in Six-Ton Hoagie Salute to our Service Members; Free Admission to National Constitution Center All Day

WAWA, PA--(Marketwired - Jun 27, 2017) -  As part of its eighth year as title sponsor of Wawa Welcome America!, Wawa is celebrating our nation's birthday with a variety of events that focus on honoring our everyday heroes -- the men and women who serve and protect the independence we celebrate throughout Independence week. 

Wawa Hoagie Day: June 29th
This year on June 29th, Wawa Hoagie Day is back and bigger than ever with a celebration of our country's history makers! This year's event marks the 25th annual Wawa Hoagie Day since the inaugural Hoagie Day was held in 1992, when the hoagie was proclaimed the "Official Sandwich of Philadelphia" by then Mayor Ed Rendell. Hoagie Day will include a hoagie march by military heroes and re-enactors, a charitable Hoagies for Heroes hoagie-building competition, and so much more. As always, a highlight of the event will be the Six-Ton Hoagie Salute, named in honor of our hometown heroes -- military service men and women, firefighters, and police officers. During the salute, the six-ton hoagie -- which will be built the morning of the celebration at the nearby National Constitution Center -- will be marched in by Wawa associates and re-enactors from military moments throughout history, and served to the crowd, free of charge. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Major General Jessica L. Garfola Wright, the first female Army aviator in the Army National Guard, USO Volunteers, Wawa Hoagie Heroes and thousands of Wawa fans and hoagie lovers from around the region will also be in attendance. Admission to the National Constitution Center is free all day courtesy of Wawa Hoagie Day. During the event, Wawa President and CEO, Chris Gheysens, will announce The Wawa Foundation's goal to donate $725,000 for its annual USO campaign, which kicked off in Wawa stores in June and runs through July 23, 2017.

Wawa Honors Police Athletic League (PAL): July 3rd
On July 3rd, Wawa is holding a special celebration at the Museum of the American Revolution to honor the "history makers" of the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) with a special picnic lunch, a recognition ceremony and an exclusive tour of the new Museum of the American Revolution. During the ceremony, Wawa will announce a donation to be given to support the PAL's summer programming schedule and will also treat PAL officers and their families to an exclusive tour of the brand-new Museum of the American Revolution. Members of PAL are dedicated to mentoring youth in the Philadelphia region by providing safe, fun experiences that get them active and teach them about teamwork and being part of a community, and this special event is a way to recognize these everyday heroes and "history makers."

The Wawa Hero Award Presentation: July 4th
This year marks The Wawa Foundation's second-annual "Hero Award," an honor given to a non-profit organization serving the greater Philadelphia area that helps to advance our local communities by assisting others and building stronger communities through preserving our independence, protecting our safety and mentoring and inspiring our youth.

The Finalists are:

1) Emily's Entourage
2) Operation Yellow Ribbon South Jersey
3) Lighthouse, Inc.
4) West Philadelphia Alliance for Children

The winner will be chosen by public vote on The Wawa Foundation's website through June 29. The Wawa Foundation Hero Award will be presented as part of the Independence Day morning ceremony on July 4th in front of Independence Hall. The recipient of The Wawa Foundation Hero Award will receive a $50,000 grant and the three runners up will each receive $10,000 grants.

"Our Wawa Welcome America! Festival has always been built around activities and events that celebrate our everyday heroes, so we're excited that this year's Wawa Welcome America! Festival will focus on the 'history makers' among us who have helped chart the course of this country's incredible history," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa President and CEO. "Happy July 4th everyone, and thanks to our everyday heroes for all you do every day."

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