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Papa John's International Inc. will mark its 4,000 global store opening Sept. 14, when CEO/founder/chairman John Schnatter gives away 4,000 pizzas throughout New York City. A celebration will also be held in nearby New Hyde Park, N.Y., where the milestone unit is located.

The free pizzas will be distributed in the form of a one-time unique code that can be used to redeem a large one-topping pizza at papajohns.com through Sept. 23, accompanied by a custom-made commemorative Rawlings baseball.

Schnatter, who founded Papa John's 28 years ago, will be giving away baseballs and free pizza codes throughout the New York City area, and will also appear on field at the New York Yankees' game Friday night.

"Opening the 4,000th Papa John's restaurant worldwide is a huge milestone for the brand. It's been a long road from the broom closet in my dad's tavern where we first started making pizzas to store 4,000, so it's appropriate that the celebration is anchored in one of the biggest cities in the world, and the restaurant itself is nearby," Schnatter said.

Schnatter will be joined at the mid-day event at the New Hyde Park restaurant, 909 Hillside Ave., in the North Shore Commons, by customers and members of the company's leadership team, franchisees and community leaders.

The company currently has locations in 32 countries on five continents.

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