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Photos: Busy Miracle Treat Day at Madison Dairy Queen

Of course we got Blizzards today. So should you! Here's how things looked this afternoon at the world's best Dairy Queen, in Madison, South Dakota, as it raises money for the Children's Miracle Network:

Madison Dairy Queen faces the lunch rush on Miracle Treat Day, August 8, 2013, Madison, South Dakota.

Madison Dairy Queen faces the lunch rush on Miracle Treat Day, August 8, 2013, Madison, South Dakota.

DQ drive-thru

Big line rounds the bend at the MDQ drive-thru.

MDQ owner DeLon Mork: "Ready to make some Blizzards?" Dairy Queen International CEO John  Gainor: "You bet!"

MDQ owner DeLon Mork: “Ready to make some Blizzards?” Dairy Queen International CEO John Gainor: “You bet!”

DQ crew 2013

Now if DeLon can just find room for the CEO to work behind the counter: the busiest DQ crew anywhere has the situation well in hand.

DQ Daugaard Mork jump poster 2013

Poster promoting Governor Dennis Daugaard’s promise to jump out of an airplane if Madison DQ hits its fundraising target. Numerous local Democrats have volunteered to pack the Republican governor’s parachute. ;-)


  1. Owen Reitzel 2013.08.08

    I did my part to get Daugaard to jump, I bought 2 Blizzards in Madison today.

    And thanks to Cory and his wife for letting me and my wife stop by their house today for a short visit. It was great to finally meet you.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.08

    Glad to have you both over, Owen!

  3. Wayne Pauli 2013.08.08

    We spent our time at the DQ this evening. Spent lots of money on coupons and saw our granddaughter get her picture taken with Delon, John, and Russ Olson. It is on the DQ Facebook page. She is 11 and a product of Children's Miracle Network and the modern medicine at the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's hospital. We are so lucky. She gets a big kick out of doing commercials on KJAM leading up to this fun event. I remember years ago when you blogged the whole day Cory :-)

  4. MC 2013.08.08

    Sorry we missed you this afternoon, maybe at the jump.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.08.08

    I got a Blizzard today too. I reminded/hinted/pushed others to do the same.

  6. MC 2013.08.09

    38,412 Blizzards


  7. Nick Nemec 2013.08.09

    Do they make other stuff on Miracle Treat Day or do they only make and sell Blizzards that day?

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.09

    Nick, one can order from the full menu on MTD. MC, those big numbers pose an interesting economic question: how long is that growth sustainable? How long can one store, especially a store in a relatively small community, expand sales of a product at such remarkable growth rates? Check out the MTD sales since 2006:

    2006 3,083
    2007 7,011 127%
    2008 12,347 76%
    2009 18,017 46%
    2010 21,405 19%
    2011 25,648 20%
    2012 31,351 22%
    2013 38,412 23%

    The first four years show what seems like a predictable trend, with declining percentage growth. But we've settled now on around 20% annual increases. Is that sustainable? How does an entrepreneur move 20% more product each year in an area where buyers and wealth are not expanding by 20%? Isn't there some maximum the local market can bear, beyond which more sales must eat into sales at neighboring franchises and/or cannibalize sales of product on other days?

    None of that is to impugn Madison Dairy Queen's generosity, marketing savvy, or hustle. But there are some fascinating green eye-shade questions to explore here.

  9. Nick Nemec 2013.08.09

    It's an interesting case study for college economics class. I'm sure the corporate headquarters uses the Madison DQ as an example to motivate other franchises to step up their efforts.

    I'd like to commend the Madison DQ and all DQs for this fundraiser. A local Highmore family went on a Disney World trip of a lifetime this past winter through the efforts of the Make A Wish foundation. It was really heart warming to see a family that has had more than their share of hard luck have some fun.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.09

    (Make a Wish and Children's Miracle Network are separate outfits, aren't they?)

  11. MC 2013.08.09

    Interesting question.

    I have notice that the area that sales comes from continues to grow, from Hudson to Brookings to Sioux Falls. People want to be part of a winner, or the top. While watching the Governor jump may have had some influence, I believe people just want to be part of winning store. However it will be interesting to see how far he (DeLon) can take this.

    The true winners are the sick and injured kids and their families in area.

  12. Nick Nemec 2013.08.09

    My bad Cory, but the kudos remain. The family I referred to has also been helped by the Children's Miracle Network and several other charities. Having a kid with severe permanent illness or injury is something that our country's current health insurance system is unable or unwilling to address. We need a better system.

  13. MC 2013.08.09

    Another Interesting point is the people in South Dakota are generally more generous with their giving, than in some other places.

  14. Douglas Wiken 2013.08.09

    Standoffish South Dakotans are short on social interaction. An event like this becomes a social opportunity for interaction of somekind.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.09

    The social aspect of MTD in Madison is an undeniable plus. Lots of people to chat with!

    MC, I need to challenge your last assertion. One source I find says South Dakota ranks 35th in charitable giving as percent of median discretionary income, within 0.1 percentage points of our neighbors Wyoming, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska. Utah is tops, with all that mandatory tithing. I wonder how DQs fare in Salt Lake City on MTD?

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