ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There’s another reason to celebrate this week besides the Fourth of July.

Salvatore’s Pizzeria turns 40 on Thursday, July 5. The Salvatore’s Pizza Family is grateful for the support Rochester has shown and will celebrate the big 4-0 throughout July and August.

“Special thanks to anyone who has ever worn a Salvatore’s uniform. We have been so fortunate to have the best staff and pizzeria owners in the business,” said Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo, founder and CEO of Salvatore’s. “We are extremely grateful for our customers, suppliers and marketing partners.”

Fantauzzo also is the patriach of the revived Rochester Lancers, who have two teams played, the men in the National Premier Soccer League and the Lady Lancers in United Women’s Soccer.

Salvatore’s will commemorate its birthday with major donations to two of Rochester’s top charities: the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester and Camp Good Days and Special Times. The company has raised more than $40,000 for the Breast Cancer Coalition and will donate $40,000 to Camp Good Days and Special Times.

Salvatore’s will hold a check presentation for both Lancers matches at Marina Auto Stadium Saturday. The Lady Lancers play at 2 p.m. and men at 5 p.m. Holly Anderson, the executive director of Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, will serve as honorary captain for the women’s match and Gary Mervis, founder of Camp Good Days and Special Times, will be honorary captain for the men’s game.

“We have supported various non-profits through the years and helped raise thousands for several great organizations,” Salvatore’s vice president Ashley Maria King said. “We are honored to have raised more than $40,000 from our stores’ pink (pizza) box campaign for the Breast Cancer Coalition and happy to donate $40,000 to Camp Good Days and Special Times.”

SoccerSam said throwing a party was considered to celebrate the milestone 40th anniversary of Salvatore’s, which now has 28 locations throughout the Rochester region.

But …

“Then I ran into Gary and Wendy Mervis at a Lancers game,” he said. “Gary is the founder of Camp Good Days and Special Times and I remembered all the great visits to the Camp and how hard Gary and Wendy work to provide free services to all campers and have an amazing staff. I talked to my wife, Linda, and we decided there was no better way for Salvatore’s to commemorate its 40th year.”

And to think this all started as a Home Economics project for Fantauzzo when he was 17-years-old and a senior at Eastridge High in 1978. He opened his first store at 1985 E. Main St. in Rochester one month after graduation – on July 5, 1978.

“Today we have 28 locations and more than 1,500 people are employed by our franchise locations and outlets,” said Silvio Fantauzzo, president of Fantauzzo Family Brands and SoccerSam’s son. “We are proud to provide great part- and full-time careers to many Rochester residents for the past 40 years.”