TWINSBURG — Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop at 8870 Darrow Road and Tallmadge resident Holly Miktarian are hoping people get behind a March 27 effort to raise funds for the Joshua T. Miktarian Memorial Scholarship Fund, so named for the Twinsburg officer who was killed in the line of duty in July 2008.
On that day, money from all purchases at the shop will be donated to the scholarship fund. Throughout March, the shop has given coupons for discounts or free subs to those who have donated to the fund.
The Miktarian Scholarship Fund was established to carry on Miktarian’s legacy to students wishing to enter a field of criminal justice or law enforcement, and two scholarships — one to a Twinsburg High senior and one to a Tallmadge High senior — are awarded each year.
"We’re hoping we can get as many people as possible to buy sandwiches on the 27th," said Holly, Josh’s widow. "This is a great gesture by Jersey Mike’s to support a cause right here in Twinsburg."
The scholarships are awarded to students from the two schools (Miktarian grew up in Tallmadge and resided there) who share Miktarian’s passion for service. Students must pursue an accredited two-year or four-year institution and have achieved a minimum 2.5 grade-point average. The value of each scholarship is $3,500.
More than 1,520 Jersey Mike’s locations nationwide have joined forces with more than 200 local charities for the company’s ninth annual Month of Giving fundraising campaign.
Last year’s Month of Giving raised a record-setting $6 million-plus for local charities, and Jersey Mike’s officials hope this year’s tally will be higher.
"I was really impressed with the company’s Month of Giving campaign when I was looking to obtain a franchise," said Jersey Mike’s local owner John Newhouse.
"With the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Joshua’s death in 2018, I thought designating his scholarship fund as my charity to support this year would be a great idea. So I reached out to Holly and she embraced it.
"Even though it’s been 10 years since the tragedy, I think it’s still fresh in local residents’ minds because that sort of thing just doesn’t happen very often in a town like Twinsburg."
Throughout March, the staff at the local Jersey Mike’s has worn T-shirts with a St. Patrick’s Day theme and Josh’s 45 badge number on them. Newhouse said St. Patrick’s Day was one of Joshua’s favorite times of the year.
The T-shirts, which were provided by a friend of Newhouse’s who is in the apparel business, can be purchased online. Information is available at the sandwich shop. Those who order get a $1 off coupon for a sandwich.
"We have gotten orders from all over," said Newhouse.
Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $34 million for local charities, and distributed more than 2 million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes.
Meanwhile, this year’s poker run to benefit the Miktarian scholarship fund will take place Aug. 24. Last year, $14,768 was raised.
Miktarian was shot and killed in the line of duty July 13, 2008, following an early morning traffic stop. He was the first Twinsburg officer killed in the line of duty.
Ashford Thompson was convicted of the murder in 2010 and is on death row at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.
Miktarian served as a police officer in Twinsburg for 11 years. He grew up in Tallmadge and graduated from Tallmadge High in 1993.
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or email@example.com.