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Jersey Mike's, JA students

Aron Lees, co-franchise owner of Jersey Mike’s Subs in Davenport, tells fifth-grade students from Eisenhower Elementary School what running a business is like. Marcus Crawford, a JA alum and Jersey Mike’s employee, looks on. The students, from left, are: Gabriel Villarreal, Tristen Kern, Breck Fitzpatrick, Aron Lees, Emma Gullickson, Liana Trosen and Marcus Crawford.

Franchisees Aron and Camilla Lees are opening a new Jersey Mike's Subs restaurant in Moline next week.

On April 3, the owners will host a grand opening celebration at the new location, 3918 16th St., Moline. It'll be the franchisees' second restaurant, after the Davenport sub shop, at 2124 E. Kimberly Road, opened in 2017. 

Camilla Lees said after a successful couple of years in Davenport, the owners decided it's time "to increase brand awareness on the Illinois side of the river." 

"We have an awesome team of young, energetic and motivated employees who are the reason why our first location has been such a success," she said. "We decided to expand to be able to keep offering our team members opportunity to grow and challenge them to be better every single day. This expansion is not just for us as owners, this is for the whole team."

During the grand opening of the 1,800-square-foot sub shop, the restaurant will raise money for Junior Achievement of the Heartland, said Lees.

"We have a very close relationship with the whole Junior Achievement team, and we felt that it was only appropriate that we keep supporting them and the major efforts they are doing to prepare our youth for the future and real life," she said. 

It won't be the first time the local franchisees have partnered with Junior Achievement to raise money for the organization, aimed at helping young people reach economic success. 

On Wednesday, Jersey Mike's in Davenport will host its annual Day of Giving and will donate 100 percent of sales to Junior Achievement. Last year, the local Jersey Mike's donated more than $20,000 to the organization, Lees said. 

During the day, Jersey Mike's owners throughout the country will donate every dollar to more than 180 different charities, hospitals, youth organizations and nonprofits. 

"Last year’s nationwide Month of Giving initiative raised more than $6 million for charities making a big difference in their local communities, and this year, we hope to raise even more," said Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s founder and CEO, in a news release. "From the early days, it’s just what we’ve always done — give to give, as they say. This March, I invite you to visit Jersey Mike’s to help support an important cause in your neighborhood.”

Jersey Mike's was founded in 1956 when Mike's Subs pioneered the sub sandwich in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Today, the company operates more than 1,500 locations.

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