JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville celebrated its 25th anniversary with a celebration that included a walk, free food and a collection of pop tabs. The festivities kicked off a year-long celebration.

"Today we celebrate 25 years of providing a home away from home for families and children who come to Jax for medical treatment," said Ronald McDonald of Jacksonville Director Diane Voyle.

The event took place at the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House in San Marco, where a three-mile walk began and ended. Organizers also collected 8,000 pounds of pop tabs, or more than 10,600,000 pop tabs.

"We have had thousands of pounds of pop tabs collected by families across the country, and certainly supported by our families from Jax who have brought them here, and we've weighed them and have donated them for our fundraising event today," Voyle said.

Saturday morning, Nease High School NJROTC students helped collect them and load them into a truck that was headed to a recycling center.

The event also included a family festival, where Ronald McDonald was on hand and free food was available.

According to the charity's directors, the event was expected to raise over $35,000 for the Ronald McDonald House program. 

Those interested in helping out can still do so.

"It's a yearlong celebration, so please save your pop tabs and bring them over to the Ronald McDonald house," Voyle said.

#DuvalDeals: The center is also giving out coupon cards to Jersey Mike's Subs on Hendricks Avenue. The restaurant has teamed up with the charity to offer free subs Wednesday through Sunday with the coupon card and a minimum donation of $2.

"Next week we're going to do a fundraiser week for them (Ronald McDonald House)," said Jersey Mike's Subs Franchisee Ryan Mclaughlin. "We're passing out 2500 free sub cards. You come in, get a free sub with the card, and you get a $2 donation to the Ronald McDonald House. Hopefully we'll get a bunch of people to come out and support the house."

Mclaughlin said anyone can go by the restaurant and pick them up.

"We feel the house does great things," said Mclaughlin. "It's a tremendous organization as people in Jacksonville know, and its our pleasure to help them out."