American Dairy Queen Corporation prides itself on being a caring company. Not only do our customers love us for our amazing food and delicious treats, but they also appreciate how we support the communities in which we live, work and do business!
Just a few weeks ago, ADQ sponsored the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake. Not only did mentors and their Littles enjoy an afternoon of bowling and Dilly® bars– they raised funds to support the organization too! Sue, a DQ employee, was recognized as the third-highest fundraiser, and raised enough to support a Big Brothers Big Sisters Match for a year!
I was back in the Chicagoland area this past September, and had a chance to take my youngest daughter to the DQ store my family used to go to when I was a girl. Such memories – and it hasn’t changed much. When I was younger it was out in the middle of no place – of course everything has built up around it. We moved from that area when I was 10…so it feels as if it has been a couple of lifetimes since I’d been there.
Mom and Dad always made trips to the DQ store a special treat. We didn’t go too often – but on a hot summer night, nothing beat a DQ treat. Usually we got cones or sundaes – though I remember Mr. Misty’s (now our Arctic Rush), DQ Push-Ups (Do any of you remember the pushups???) and root beer floats. If we were really good, or had done something special, we could order the BIGGEST item on the menu – the Banana Split.
Of course we took photos. My daughter just laughs at me – and then poses for the photo. This one is one of my favorites. Right up there with photos of us at the World’s Largest Frying Pan, The Field of Dreams and the Spam Can…
First off, we would like to thank all of our consumers who took part in Miracle Treat Day. Once again it was an amazing day. For those who are unfamiliar with Miracle Treat Day, it’s the one day during the year where a $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat purchase goes to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.
This year I had the oppurtunity to hang out with Miss America and the Blizzardmobile check out the video recapping this amazing day! If you missed Miracle Treat Day but still would like to donate to Children’s Miracle Network, you can still do that by visiting their website.
Miracle Treat Day is just around the corner – Aug. 5 in the US and Aug. 12 in Canada! It is a very special day for us at Dairy Queen® and we hope you can be a part of it!
Over the last 26 years, DQ® has raised over $81 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout North America. We are making miracles happen as we speak! Children’s Miracle Network treats 17 million children each year to help overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. It is truly amazing what they do! Last year, $4.5 million was raised on Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, and we are hoping to top that this year!
We hope you will come out to a participating DQ® store to help make miracles happen. When you buy a Blizzard® Treat on Miracle Treat Day, $1 or more will benefit your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. All funds raised stay local, so you will be helping the children in your own community!
On Miracle Treat Day, treat yourself to a Blizzard Treat while you help to save and improve the lives of children. Visit miracletreatday.com to find a participating location near you.
And check out the video below of John Gainor, President and CEO of International Dairy Queen Corporation, as he talks about the incredible power of Miracle Treat Day.
Allow me to introduce you to nine-year-old Kaitlin Clutter of Manchester, N.J. She is one of the thousands of reasons to support Miracle Treat Day on Thursday, August 5 when participating Dairy Queen® and DQ® Grill & Chill® locations across the U.S. will donate at least $1 from every Blizzard® Treat sold to benefit Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. Kaitlin is an amazing young lady. I had the good fortune of meeting her when the DQ Blizzardmobile tour kicked-off in New York to celebrate the 25th birthday of the Blizzard Treat and raise money and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network.
While it might not seem like a big deal that Kaitlin came out before the crack of dawn to join us in announcing the tour on the CBS Early Show and then came to Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey to help us hand out Blizzard Treats to the staff and hospitalized children, believe me it is. You see, Kaitlin was born with Spina Bifida, a malformation of the spine and spinal cord that comes with a host of complications. Kaitlin has faced hydrocephalus; a tethered spinal cord; severe club feet; bowel, bladder and kidney problems; reflux; asthma; and paralysis of the lower legs.
But, there she was on that day in April, smiling and enjoying a Blizzard Treat on national television and then helping serve Blizzard Treats at the hospital.
What strikes you when you meet her, aside from her cute freckled face, is her unbridled enthusiasm and incredible spirit. She brought Blizzard Treats to all of the kids in the hospital lobby who were too sick to come outside, actually asking the nurses if she bring them Blizzard Treats as well.
At one point, the lobby was empty except for the guard at the desk and me. Kaitlin, with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step, said to the guard, “Hi, how are you doing today? Did you get your Blizzard?” When the guard answered no, she quickly turned on her heels and bounced back outside to get the guard his Blizzard Treat.
What’s hard to believe when you meet her, is that doctors told Kaitlin’s parents when she was born that she’d have such severe complications she’d never perform the most basic tasks. She would never crawl, walk, see, hear, speak, learn or eat. But, good thing for all us — no one ever told Kaitlin that. She has made it through every hurdle and every surgery she’s faced. This is a fantastic young lady whose smile from ear to ear is contagious.
Thanks to the miracles performed at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country, kids like Kaitlin are given a chance. In Kaitlin’s case, it’s our chance to enjoy the bright smile and infectious personality she shares with all who meet her.
So, we hope to see you at one of our participating Dairy Queen locations on August 5th for Miracle Treat Day. I know Kaitlin will be there sharing a smile and a story.
With summer in full swing, I’m reminded of a cross promotion some DQ operators participate in with their local police force. When kids are “caught” correctly wearing a helmet while riding their bikes, they are rewarded with free DQ cone coupons from their local DQ store. While this is an optional program, meaning restaurant operators choose whether to participate, I can’t help but wish this type of reward was around when I was a little kid.
When I was young, I rode my purple Schwinn, with the flowered banana seat and plastic white wicker basket, around the neighborhood at least half of my waking hours once school was out for the summer. I rode to stores, the neighborhood pool, my friends’ houses, the park—anywhere and everywhere. But back then, we didn’t know about things such as safety helmets.
Times have changed. For many kids today, putting a bike helmet on prior to going out for a ride is second nature. What a great idea to actually stop them in their tracks and reinforce the positive behavior with a DQ treat coupon. Not only that, but it also creates positive interactions between the children and their local police force.
How exciting it must be for these kids to “win” a DQ cone, and be honored by a police officer for doing the right thing!
American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) believes in giving back to the communities in which we live, work and do business – it’s simply one of the core values of our corporation. Through our DQ® Cares giving structure, we donate monetary grants to a select number of non-profit organizations that aim to help kids and families most in need.
Recently some of us at the DQ corporate office had the privilege to participate in a special one-day event with 8th grade students graduating from the W.I.S.E. Charter School. This unique and amazing school in North Minneapolis has formed a special partnership with ADQ through our DQ Cares initiatives. The school is founded on the seven African principles of Kwanzaa, which are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. It was clear after spending the day together that the children and teachers work daily to embody these values, and most importantly, pass those values on to those around them.
As part of the students’ 8th grade graduation, they took their first field trip of the year to our DQ corporate headquarters, where they participated in a day-long event that included creating a new Blizzard® flavor and presenting a rock-star marketing campaign to a panel of experts. No small task! It became quite the competition between not only the student groups, but the corporate group leaders as well. In the end, the students had created five great-tasting Blizzard Treats–one even incorporated a touch of cayenne pepper, which was surprisingly delicious and had our panel of experts chanting “feelin’ hot, hot, hot!” From TV commercials to in-store merchandising, these kids did an amazing job and truly showcased their creative side and their talents. The highlight of the presentations was a young man who wrote a short rap about his team’s Blizzard Flavor. Check it out!
While many DQ customers have stories about how their entire family loves the brand, some even have stories about how much their dogs love our soft serve! One customer wrote to the corporate offices about their 13-year-old dog named George. He loved ice cream with a passion, and they often took him to their local Dairy Queen store to get him some soft serve in a cup as a treat.
However, George was getting up in age, and when there was nothing more this woman and her husband could do for their beloved family dog to extend his life, they were devastated. They took him outside the veterinary hospital for a few minutes to say their goodbyes, and the husband ran down the street to a DQ restaurant to get George a final treat.
The DQ employee explained that it was too early for the soft-serve machine to be ready, but said she had some Dilly Bars that hadn’t yet been dipped in chocolate. The employee gave the man one and wouldn’t take any money for it.
The letter went on to say how George savored every minute of that last treat, and how much the woman and her husband appreciated their final minutes with him. They really appreciated the DQ employee’s actions. Even during a difficult time, this experience created a lasting positive impression for this family.
When it comes to the topic of monster trucks, there are some extremely avid fans out there. Many years ago when one of my nephews turned four years old, I took him to a monster truck rally because it was what he wanted more than anything in life.
I will never forget that day. He was a young boy stocked with ear plugs and his eyes were as wide as saucers. He stared unblinkingly at the action. The noise was deafening, but the more noise the crowd of thousands made, the more noise the trucks made. I wondered about him becoming scared of the screeching and booming chaos all around us, but his smile never once left his face.
During a break nearly half-way through the event, I purchased a poster of Grave Digger for him to take home for his bedroom wall. Grave Digger, the world’s best-known monster truck, weighs 10,000 pounds, costs nearly $250,000, can jump 100 feet and crushes cars like ants with its 66-inch tires. My nephew held that rolled up poster like it was pure gold worth millions of dollars.
I couldn’t help but remember that day when I first heard about the Monster Jam event held in Tampa, Fla., last year that was a tie-in with DQ® restaurants in the Tampa market , the Children’s Miracle Network and all Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. The best part of all is that in addition to Grave Digger, there was a truck included in the Monster Jam owned by local residents Bill and Vicki McShane that is styled in Dairy Queen® colors. The McShane’s escorted Curly Top® the DQ mascot, as well as Miracle Families around the infield of each event. The kids got to meet the drivers and get autographs, and kicked off the event with a lap around the stadium.
Those kids must have had a blast! I can only imagine it would be quite similar to the reaction my nephew had many years ago. I’m sure it was the creation of a memory they will have for the rest of their lives, and it’s another example of how the DQ system makes a difference.
Like so many people in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, we here at IDQ were looking for ways to make a difference and to help. On Thursday, Feb. 4, and Friday, Feb. 5, 45 corporate employees of International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ) volunteered at the Feed My Starving Children site in Chanhassen, Minn.. We packed a total of 78,336 meals during those two days!
In addition to the meals that we packed, IDQ made a donation to Feed My Starving Children to help defray the cost of ingredients and packaging of the food. It was a great experience and so rewarding to know what a difference a few hours of our time can mean to children and families in Haiti and other countries!
If you are interested in learning more about Feed My Starving Children, visit their website at http://www.fmsc.org or check out their Facebook page.
We have a strong Community Service Team here at the Dairy Queen corporate headquarter in Minneapolis, and in addition to the year-round work IDQ does on behalf of Children’s Miracle Network, we are always looking for new opportunities to serve in our community. In fact, “Service” and “Supporting our Community” are two values the entire IDQ team holds dear.
What are you and your families, or the companies you work for, doing to make a difference? I know that there are more good deeds happening than are ever noted in the media!