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Red Deer Dairy Queens support critically ill children through Miracle Treat Day

Red Deer’s Dairy Queen locations continue to support critically ill children through the annual Miracle Treat Day.
A mascot dances in front of the downtown Red Deer Dairy Queen during Miracle Treat Day on Thursday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deer’s Dairy Queen locations continue to support critically ill children through the annual Miracle Treat Day.

Proceeds from Blizzard sales on Miracle Treat Day are donated to local children’s hospital foundations to support specialized equipment, programs, training and research.

These funds help children like three-year-old Asher Tellier from Coronation, which is about two hours east of Red Deer.

Asher was born at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton – he spent six weeks there and then stayed at the Stollery Children’s Hospital until he was four months old.

“He has a neurological condition and also a muscle condition. It affects his ability to swallow, walk, talk. It’ll be lifelong,” explained Stephanie Tellier, Asher’s mother.

Tellier describes Asher as a “super happy guy with a great sense of humour.” She praised the staff at the Stollery for everything they’ve done to support their family over the past few years.

“The Stollery definitely saved Asher’s life. He wouldn’t be here without the Stollery,” said Tellier.

“Everything raised through these fundraisers (like Miracle Treat day) are donated and bring in monitors, equipment and basically anything there.”

Drew Hamill, co-owner and general manager of Dairy Queen Red Deer, said Miracle Treat Day typically raises $100,000 each year between each of the Red Deer locations.

“In a city of 100,000 people, that’s pretty remarkable,” Hamill said.

“We’ve raised $1.2 million total since Miracle Treat Day’s inception. We’re the second Dairy Queen group in Canada to ever hit the $1 million plateau. Now we’re in a race to hit $2 million.”

In addition to Miracle Treat Day, Dairy Queen locations sell $1 paper balloons throughout the year to support critically ill children.

“We usually raise at least $40,000 a year through that,” Hamill noted.

Hamill said Miracle Treat Day wouldn’t be possible without his staff.

“They go above and beyond every year to make this all happen. It’s a long day for everybody, but it’s a fun day,” he said.

“The customers are always super understanding if things take a little longer. On Wednesday, in the downtown Dairy Queen alone, we made over 600 blizzards that were pre-ordered just to get ahead. City-wide we probably made 1,000 blizzards on Wednesday.”

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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