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Posted August 15, 2014
Dairy Queen CEO Tours All Children's Hospital on Miracle Treat Day
Dairy Queen Presidetn John Gainor
Cathy Seneca, RN, a member of the ACH Transport Team walks John Gainor, President & CEO of International Dairy Queen, out on the roof of ACH to see the Helipad during their visit to ACH.
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Whether you prefer Brownie Batter (like the CEO), or your Dairy Queen diet consists strictly of fruit (by way of Strawberry CheeseQuake), the Blizzard® raised money for All Children's Hospital patients on Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen. Each blizzard sold in Tampa Bay on August 14th meant at least a $1 donation to All Children's Hospital through event sponsor, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

"Over the years, Miracle Treat Day has raised nearly a half million dollars for All Children's," said Stephanie Hall, director for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at All Children's. Stephanie hosted a Thursday morning tour of ACH for Dairy Queen's president and CEO, his wife and several members of his team on behalf of CMNH and the ACH Foundation.

"We have a 30-year relationship with Children's Miracle Network," said John Gainor, president and CEO of International Dairy Queen, Inc.  "This is a big year for us as we top $100 million in donations to CMNH. We couldn't be prouder of our franchisees that have supported this great cause over the last 30 years."

Jenine Rabin, executive vice president of the ACH Foundation, greeted Gainor and his team to thank them for the exceptional efforts they've made, including raising more than $37,500 last year alone. Gainor responded by pulling an unexpected check out of his own pocket, saying he wanted to make sure his team beat last year's total.

One of the areas that has benefited specifically from Dairy Queen's Blizzard donations is the Sleep Lab. Lab Supervisor Jim Wilcox guided the tour through his unit. Posters thanked Dairy Queen, listing specific items purchased with the donations. One poster read, "Your contributions help us provide testing for more than 800 special pediatric patients every year."

"The care they provide the children in this hospital is amazing," Gainor said. "Our fans are showing up on Miracle Treat Day to show their support. And every dollar we raise selling blizzards in Tampa Bay stays right in this community." 

The group also toured the NICU and the Johns Hopkins All Children's Heart Institute where Susan Wall, R.N., explained that the pediatric heart surgery team performs, "two to three heart procedures every day. We have patients who are here for a full year waiting for a transplant. You see the emotional roller coaster these families are on, and then when they finally get that call, you see the relief."

"When you see all of this in person, you just want to do more," said Dan Byrne, a local Dairy Queen owner who joined the tour.

The final stop was the helipad for a talk with the Critical Care Transport Team. They described what they do to get children - often critically ill newborns - to the hospital for care. "We average one air transport per day," said Cathy Seneca, R.N. "It's like a mini ICU. We can handle any emergency - all in the back of a tiny helicopter." The Transport Team then wisely followed the group to the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill in Seminole to enjoy blizzards of their own, courtesy of a clearly impressed Gainor.

Foundation tours give donors an inside look at the hospital and allow them to see firsthand the effect their money is having on the children in our care. It can have a significant impact, especially for donors who have not had a personal hospital experience. "We are always appreciative to the teams that welcome our donors and give them a glimpse inside our world," said Rabin. "Thank you."