Wall High School And Recent Graduates Receive $18,000 From Jersey Mike's Subs

Originally Published at The Patch by Charlie LaPlaca

Sub shop chain donates $72,000 to local high schools and their graduates

Wall Township-based Jersey Mike’s Subs on Wednesday donated $72,000 to four local high schools to help save extra-curricular programs and promote community service.

Wall High School, along with the high schools in Manasquan, Point Pleasant Borough and Point Pleasant Beach, each received $15,000 from the company to help support – and save – some of the school’s extra-curricular programs, the sub chain owner and CEO Peter Cancro said.

Three graduating seniors from each school also were also given checks for $1000 to help pay for college next fall.

Three members of the 2011 Wall High School graduating class – Jacob Dawe, Taylor Dodds and Pat Cloney – were each handed $1000 checks as a token of appreciation for their community service, academic achievement and extra-curricular activity, Cancro said.

The company is doing its part to help save local extra-curricular programs and teachers that may have otherwise been axed after cuts to school budgets over the last few years, Cancro said.

 “They’re cutting a lot and people don’t understand or realize that,” Cancro said. “That’s our way of just stepping up and trying to make a difference.”

Wall High School Principal Rosaleen Sirchio on behalf of the school accepted the donation from the company, which is headquartered just off Atlantic Avenue in Wall.

“I’m really proud of the three students. They’re truly exceptional students,” Sirchio said. “They’re involved in community service, extra-curricular activities, and obviously academically they’re very gifted. I’m very proud of them.”

Sirchio said she and the district administration would spend the summer deciding on how to best spend the $15,000.

“We’re going to use it to support our extra-curricular activities as well as some of our sports activities,” she said. “We’ll probably work on figuring that out over the summer.”

The three Wall students are all headed to college next fall and said they will most likely spend the money on books and tuition.

“It means a lot. The past four years that I’ve been in high school, we’ve had to see so many organizations, clubs, sports get cut. So the fact that they’re getting involved means a lot to the students and I really appreciate it,” said Jacob Dawe, a Foxfield Circle resident headed for Yale next semester.

Taylor Dodds, of Magnolia Avenue, said she was honored to receive the check for her commitment to the community and high school the last four years.

“I’ve always been involved in community service. I think hearing (Cancro) speak about getting involved in the community really inspires me to go do something else aside from the things that I’ve done,” said Dodds, who is set to begin her college education at Catholic University of America in the fall.

Pat Cloney, of Deborah Court, was also touched by the company’s gift to his hometown high school.

“I’ve been a student that’s been involved in a ton of extra-curriculars, sports and clubs for all four years. So the fact that they’re putting money into those programs to keep them going is really near and dear to my heart. It’s just a great thing that they’re doing,” Cloney said.

One student from Point Pleasant Beach decided to give her check back to Jersey Mike’s Subs to be put toward a charitable endeavor.

“I was just listening to Mr. Cancro up there talking about giving back to your community, so I thought now is as good a time as any to get started with that. It was just kind of an inspiration. I’m sure he’s going to put it to good use,” said Cora Wallace, who plans to attend Muhlenberg College in the fall.

The company worked with each district’s superintendents to award twelve students that best exemplified the qualities Jersey Mike’s Subs wanted to promote, according to Michael Manzo, the company’s chief operating officer.

“It was up to the superintendents of each school district, they had staffs that nominated the kids. The process went through a multiple interviewing process, not only based on grades, but the academic, the scholastic, the extra-curricular activities and what they did for their communities,” Manzo said.

This was the first of hopefully many more donations to schools across the country for Jersey Mike’s Subs, which has sub shops nationwide, Manzo said.

“You’re only as good as the community that you live in and you provide for, and the community starts with the kids. It’s giving back to the kids, because that’s the future. We’re going to better serve the community both as a sponsorship but also teach them how to give back for generations to come,” Manzo said.

And that is why the company started right in its own backyard, Manzo said.

“The idea was giving back to the four high schools in the area that mean so much to our foundation as a company,” Manzo said. “If you put them all on a map, it’s the four corners of our community.”