June 29, 2016 09:52 ET

Wawa Salutes Our Everyday Heroes Throughout Wawa Welcome America!

Wawa Celebrates Nation's Birthday With Hoagie Day, PAL Recognition Ceremony and The Wawa Foundation's First Ever Wawa Foundation Hero Award

WAWA, PA--(Marketwired - Jun 29, 2016) -  As part of its seventh 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 protect the freedoms we celebrate throughout the 4th of July. 

Wawa Hoagie Day: June 30th
This year on June 30th, Wawa Hoagie Day is back and bigger than ever. Wawa associates, Food Network Chef Robert Irvine, and hoagie fans from across the region will join in celebration of the 24th annual Wawa Hoagie Day, a day dedicated to honoring our service members as well as building on The Wawa Foundation's partnership with the USO, a military support nonprofit dedicated to connecting our nation's service members to their family, home and country throughout their service. Hoagie Day will include a hoagie march by military heroes and re-enactors, and in recognition of the USO's 75th anniversary, USO volunteers will be honored for their service to our military members and families. As always, a highlight of the event will be the Six Ton Hoagie Salute, named in honor of our service members and 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. Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine of the Food Network and Restaurant Impossible will also be on-hand to honor our military, fire and police.

Wawa Honors Police Athletic League (PAL) as Part of Go Forth and Learn Event: July 2nd
On July 2nd, Wawa is holding a special celebration at the National Constitution Center to recognize the officers of the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) during Go Forth and Learn, a key Wawa Welcome America! event. As part of Wawa's commitment to offer the Philadelphia community free family fun throughout Wawa Welcome America!, this year, Wawa is thrilled to provide two free days of admission to the National Constitution Center. The first free day will be held on June 30 during Wawa Hoagie Day, and the second free day will be held on Saturday, July 2, when Wawa will invite the community to not only to go forth and learn about the nation's and Wawa's history, but celebrate our local heroes who are part of PAL. Wawa is dedicating the morning of its second FREE day of the Welcome America! festival to show support for PAL, which has recently announced extended summer programming with Saturday summer hours at 10 PAL centers throughout Philadelphia

The Wawa Foundation Hero Award Presentation: July 4th
This year marks The Wawa Foundation's first-ever "Hero Award," an honor given to non-profit organizations serving the greater Philadelphia area that assist others and helps to advance communities through preserving our freedom, protecting our safety, inspiring learning, and encouraging and empowering others to become better citizens and community members. The top four non-profits are:

1) Veteran's Multi-Service Center Philadelphia
2) Special People in the Northeast (SPIN)
3) Beat the Streets
4) Philadelphia Reads

The public can help decide the winner by casting their vote on the Wawa Foundation's website on from June 20-29. 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 celebrating the everyday heroes who have made our nation great, so we're excited to use this year's Welcome America! festival to focus on our everyday heroes," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa' President and CEO. "As we enter our 7th year as title sponsor of Wawa Welcome America!, we're excited to not only bring back Hoagie Day with more patriotism and pride than ever, but add additional events to the lineup that honor the great men and women who keep us safe. Happy July 4th everyone, and thanks to our everyday heroes for all you do every day."

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