ABSECON _ A local company’s nearly year-long fundraising effort for a local hospital reaches its peak on Thursday, Aug. 8 when Dairy Queen restaurants across the country participate in Miracle Treat Day.
The Absecon Dairy Queen, run by husband and wife, Lisa and Robert Wenz, will hold its seventh-annual Miracle Treat Day fundraiser with a day-long collection of activities for both the young and old.
During Miracle Treat Day, Dairy Queen donates $1 for every Blizzard sold, Lisa Wenz said. “We support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. All of the proceeds go there.”
Last year, the Absecon Dairy Queen raised $2,770 during Miracle Treat Day, she said.
The number of Blizzard offerings, which included the Oreo cookie as one of its original flavors, has grown to a menu of more than 25 varieties.
Wenz’s favorite: banana cream pie.
You can come and get a Blizzard everyday and not have the same flavor twice in nearly a month, Wenz said.
However, Miracle Treat Day remains a date that’s circled on their Wenz’s calendar while they operate their facility from February through November.
“The last four or five years our Miracle Treat Day has really exploded,” Wenz said. “We’ve gotten better, bigger. Our PR is better. We’ve added more things.”
Employee Jen Thompson has campaigned across Absecon and the surrounding area. She has placed Miracle Treat Day posters anywhere and everywhere someone will allow her, Wenz said.
This year Wenz has arranged to cram in a daylong collection of games, bouncy rides, face painters, Miss New Jersey, a magician, and antique cars to her facility on the White Horse Pike in Absecon.
“Enjoy the ice cream, but stay for the fun,” she said.
A Petrosh bounce ride will be available from noon to 6 p.m., she said. Also, there will be carnival games, including a spin the wheel and ring toss, throughout the day, Wenz said.
A group of 30 Holy Spirit High School cheerleaders have volunteered to operate the games and offer face paintings, Wenz said.
“I called Bridget Pooley, the Holy Spirit High School cheerleader coach, and the next day she had 30 girls ready to help out,” Wenz said.
The Holy Spirit students will participate in Miracle Treat Day as part of their required community service projects, Wenz said.
“Holy Spirit is a small school, but the kids are great,” Wenz said. “In no time we all kinds of students ready and willing to help out.”
But there’s even more to Miracle Treat Day, Wenz said.
Miss New Jersey Lindsey Petrosh will make and appearance at 2 p.m. Magician Chad Juros, a cancer survivor and former CHOP patient, will show off his talents from 7-9 p.m. Mickey and Minnie will appear at 7 p.m. and Little Kitty will join them in the fun also.
Wenz has a DJ ready to play music to keep the fun swinging along.
Dairy Queen’s regular group of antique and classic car owners will arrive to show off their favorite rides as well, Wenz said.
Wenz says the most touching moment happens when a child, who shows the signs of a serious illness, donates on Miracle Treat Day to help others.
“A child should never be sick,” Wenz said. “You hope it never happens, but when it does, you are glad that there are people who donate so that your child can get better.”
Absecon Dairy Queen’s 15 workers are competing for a prize for selling the greatest amount of Miracle Treat Day balloons, Wenz said.
“The balloons cost a dollar but you get that back in coupons so it’s a no-brainer,” Wenz said. “The dollar then goes to CHOP. We’ve already starting selling balloons.”
Throughout the year, the Absecon Dairy Queen keeps a jar on the counter to collect donations for CHOP.
“It’s not a tip jar,” Wenz said. “It’s for the children.”
Recently, an out-of-town visitor stopped at the Dairy Queen and learned about Miracle Treat Day. He asked how he could help even though he would have already returned home by the time Miracle Treat Day arrives.
“He donated $6 to the glass jar,” Wenz said. “If you can’t make it, you can always donate that way.”
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