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WAWA, Pa. — Wawa Inc. will ramp up the festivities on April 16 — the 51st anniversary of its first convenience store.
To mark the milestone, Wawa is offering customers a free cup of any-sized Wawa coffee at all locations. The retailer is also giving away 416 $20 gift cards for use in-store. Customers can enter on the retailer's website; the deadline to enter is 5 p.m. April 17.
"April 16 is #WawaDay, a day to celebrate our customers, dedicated associates and the communities we’re so proud to serve. It's not only our mission to help make your daily lives easier and brighter — it's our pleasure," the retailer said in a post on its website.
Wawa opened its first convenience store on April 16, 1964 at the intersection of MacDade Boulevard and Swarthmore Avenue in Folsom, Pa. The store is slated to be replaced with a Super Wawa to rise down the street next year.
As part of its 50th anniversary last year, the retailer launched The Wawa Foundation, a 501c (3) nonprofit organization founded to encompass all of Wawa's charitable giving.
"Wawa Day gives us an opportunity to thank and connect with our customers while celebrating the day that forever chartered our company's course, while creating new traditions that will mark the next 50 years of our company's history," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa's president and CEO. "The Wawa Foundation has become one of the most important vehicles to enable us to live our values and fulfill lives every day by building stronger communities, and we are excited to use the significance of our founding day to spotlight the work of the foundation, while thanking our customers and associates for the millions of moments that have made the Wawa experience so unique and special."
To commemorate Wawa Day 2015, the retailer has planned a number of initiatives focused on its customers and the communities in which Wawa operates:
- Wawa will give away more than 1.5 million free cups of any-size coffee for all customers chainwide.
- Wawa will announce more than $1 million in funding from The Wawa Foundation's grant distribution for the first quarter of 2015.
- In-store digital tributes will feature photo montages to celebrate Wawa associates and customers and their relationships.
- Wawa will host six celebrations throughout its six-state operating area, where The Wawa Foundation will highlight the athletes of its first-quarter national charity partner Special Olympics, as well as highlight some of the local donations made to address the needs of that specific community.
"We're giving away 1.5 million cups of coffee and $1 million in Wawa Foundation grants, but the numbers we are most proud of are the numbers of lives we have impacted and communities we have helped," Gheysens said.
The day will begin at 8 a.m. in Philadelphia with Mayor Michael Nutter once again proclaiming April 16 as Wawa Day, and helping to pour the ceremonial first cups of coffee.
Wawa currently operates more than 680 convenience stores — 400-plus offering gasoline — in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.