Madison Dairy Queen's 2020 Blizzard total hits 30,222

ALYSSA GERRIETTS, a Madison 3-year-old, performs some negotiations with her mother, Tammy Gerrietts, at the sales window of the Blizzard coupon shack on Thursday evening. At that time during the Sweet Miracles fund-raiser, DQ workers Angela Meinin (at counter) and Laury Carruthers were selling Blizzard coupons to customers.

Despite the challenges thrown up by a viral pandemic and the need for people of all ages to keep their distance, Madison's Dairy Queen tallied 30,222 Blizzard treats sold for Thursday's Sweet Miracles event.

The toned-down event for summer 2020 still garnered an impressive number of donations for the Children's Miracle Network and other groups that assist ill and injured boys and girls. However, this summer's fund-raiser depended more on the Madison DQ's drive-thru window, curbside service and coupon-sales shack rather than customers lining up to purchase ice cream at the indoor DQ sales counter.

The Dairy Queen workers asked Madison residents to practice social-distancing when they turned out for the South Dakota Sweet Miracles event to help protect everyone from the novel coronavirus.

On Friday morning, DeLon Mork, DQ owner, and his restaurant staff expressed their thanks on Facebook, saying the year has so far "...been nothing short of unpredictable and crazy, but the bright spot is always knowing we have a supportive community behind us."

The Madison DQ staff thanked the community for supporting the day dedicated to the South Dakota Sweet Miracles fund-raiser. They posted online, "...we are so proud to say we sold over 30,000 Blizzards -- WOW! You guys never cease to amaze us!"

Along with Madison, other Dairy Queen restaurants across South Dakota participated in the event, including DQs in Aberdeen, Brookings, Chamberlain, DeSmet, Eagle Butte, Groton, Huron, Miller, Mitchell, Mobridge, Pierre, Sisseton, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Watertown, Winner and Yankton.

Bethany Olson, a senior development officer with Sanford Children's Miracle Network, visited Madison on Thursday to assist the DQ staff with their efforts. However, Olson begged off actually making the DQ Blizzards, saying she didn't have the training or experience in creating one of the ice cream treats.

"The Children's Miracle Network wanted to help out here in Madison because we appreciate all of the support that the Madison DQ and the community has given us in the past," Olson said.