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Spreading holiday cheer

PrimoHoagies locations including Port Richmond fulfill wish lists for children in Philly.

A caravan of trucks on Dec. 3 departed from the PrimoHoagies Westville, New Jersey headquarters in the morning to drop off toys to 135 children. PHOTO:PRIMOHOAGIES

While a shiny, red sleigh is the traditional mode of transportation for toys that comes to mind at Christmas, a caravan of trucks served the same purpose on Dec. 3.

Through its charitable venture, PrimoCares, PrimoHoagies and its locations including one located in Port Richmond, 2703 E. Clearfield St., made the holidays a little more bright for local youth.

Volunteers from the organization packed the trucks sky-high with wish-list items for 135 children at C.B. Community School in Manayunk, Drueding Center in Kensington and St. Veronica’s School in North Philadelphia, and Santa Claus made a special visit.

Funding came from each PrimoHoagies location; customers were asked to round up to the nearest dollar on each purchase.

PrimosHoagies Port Richmond owner Christopher Szewczak has been in his location since 2001 and started participating in the last few years ago.

The Port Richmond location’s wishlist included Ugg boots, hats, gloves, a Target gift card and a Victoria’s Secret sweatsuit outfit.

The Port Richmond location raised about $400. 

For Szewczak, it’s more than serving up quality hoagies in the neighborhood.

“Even before they did this, I used to help kids in the area,” he said. “There were all these kids in our area who don’t have much. So, we used to pick a couple people and we would just buy stuff for them from me, my brother and my partner at the time.”

The current PrimoCares initiative is five years and counting.

“My father, Nick Senior, who co-founded PrimoHoagies Franchising Inc., created PrimoCares to provide a way to give back to the communities we serve,” said PrimoHoagies Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Papanier Jr. “For the past five years, we’ve had the pleasure of bringing joy to children at Christmas through the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity. We’re thrilled that through the generosity of our customers, we’re able to continue this tradition again this year.”

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