Compared to some of the old standby sandwich shops, Jersey Mike's is relatively new to the sandwich market and the communities along the Randall Road corridor.

But since they opened along the corridor in the past couple of years, they've done their best to become an integral part of the community, including giving back to the communities they serve.

Both the Geneva spot, 1170 S. Randall Road, and the Lake in the Hills spot, 285 N. Randall, try to hold fundraisers at least every month in their communities.

And through these fundraisers they've raised thousands of dollars for local sports teams, local schools and local organizations.

"We try as a Jersey Mike's franchisee to be as embedded in the community we are in as possible, and to help out in any way we can with these schools, sporting clubs and any groups that need our help." said Jim Shipman, who owns the Geneva spot, as well as a spot at 2540 E. Main Street, St. Charles. "We love to help them out."

The Lake in the Hills spot, owned by Mark Michalak, who won a community award last year for his fundraising efforts, follows the same philosophy.

The location has a board listing all of the donations the restaurant has given to the community through its Lake in the Hills shop, and Michalak's other spot in Crystal Lake, 5006 Northwest Hwy.

In 2012, they gave more than $20,000 to community organizations.

"Hopefully we can raise more this year," said Sue Davis, the restaurant's catering and marketing manager.

Today, the restaurant is doing a fundraiser for the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce. And next month, they'll be doing one for the American Cancer Society.

The Geneva spot has an upcoming event for the St. Charles Storm Basketball Association.

"We are very proud of our community involvement and I hope this inspires other business owners to get involved and give back to their community," Davis said.

The way the fundraisers work, is that the community groups gets a card to give out to their members.

When the members bring that card in, they get a free regular sub sandwich, in exchange for placing a donation of dollar or two -- depending on the fundraiser and the location -- in a box in the restaurant. All of the donations that day are given to the organization being featured at that time.

Later this year, the Lake in the Hills spot also will be hosting a blood drive for the Heartland Blood Center. Anyone who donates blood that day will get a free sandwich.

Soon, there will be another Jersey Mike's along the Randall Road corridor in the fundraising mix.

Shipman plans to open a spot in late March in South Elgin, right along Randall Road next to the McDonald's.

And he invites community organizations in that village to come to him if they're interested in doing a fundraiser at the restaurant, too.

"We're always welcoming new organizations to partner up with," Shipman said. "People love doing them and we love doing them."

• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from South Elgin to Batavia. Contact her at or at (847) 894-5036.