News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 25, 2012

DQ fundraiser Thursday to benefit Riley

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Last year, a Terre Haute Dairy Queen business raised more than $3,900 for Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, the third highest statewide of about 300 participating locations.

It’s a goal Pam LeBrun, general manager at the Antique DQ Restaurant at 395 E. Davis Drive in Terre Haute, hopes can be matched again or exceeded Thursday. That’s DQ Miracle Treat Day when participating Dairy Queen locations will donate $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat sold to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a charity that raises funds to save and improve the lives of children treated at 170 children’s hospitals across North America.

“We do this because some of our employees and [owner] Dusty [G. Derickson] and I myself have had children at Riley Hospital,” LeBrun said. “We donate all of our proceeds raised that day from Blizzards. We also sell balloons with $1 and $3 coupons.”

“Riley Hospital is great. I have been at DQ for 23 years and we have done this every year. The only difference is this year it was changed to be in July, instead of being in August,” LeBrun said.

Last year about $175,000 was raised for Riley Hospital for Children from the DQ campaign, said Jason Mueller, spokesman for Riley Children’s Foundation.

“It is a tremendous promotion. It is great to have 300 [DQ] locations on board. We’re hopeful it is very consistent if not even better [this year] because everything benefits the children at Riley Hospital,” Mueller said.

The top 10 DQ locations in Indiana raised $43,789 last year, with the top funding coming from a DQ location in Plymouth with $11,840, followed in second with $7,396 raised by a DQ location in Niles, according to Riley Children’s Foundation.

Last year, Dairy Queen locations across the U.S. and Canada raised more than $5 million on Miracle Treat Day for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since the program started in 1984, the Dairy Queen system has raised more than $90 million through the treat day, sale of balloons and other local initiatives.

“When we first decided to host a systemwide event that would involve the entire Dairy Queen family, we no idea how much impact it would have and how it would grow in size and popularity each year,” John Gainor, president and CEO of International Dairy Queen Inc., said in a statement. “Miracle Treat Day has become such a celebration of life and hope, as well as a fundraiser that draws support from local communities.”

The Oreo Blizzard, which is the most popular flavor, will be featured as the Miracle Tree Day “Blizzard of the Day.”

 For more information about Miracle Treat Day, visit miracletreatday.com and for more information about the Dairy Queen system, visit dairyqueen.com.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.