The Moorhead Dairy Queen is an iconic place.
It’s famous for creating the world’s first Dilly Bar. And people of all ages flock to its windows each summer.
This DQ has been owned and operated by Troy and Diane DeLeon for the past 28 years, and they take their role in the community seriously.
“We wouldn’t be here without this community. We wouldn’t be here without our loyal customers. And I think as a business owner, it’s our responsibility to be good leaders in the community and maybe inspire others to give back,” said Diane DeLeon.
On this busy day, the Moorhead DQ celebrated Miracle Treat Day, a day in which Dairy Queen franchises across the country give $1 or more to the Children’s Miracle Network for each of the Blizzards they sell. For Troy and Diane though, this event is a longer commitment than just one day, and is part of an ongoing partnership with Sanford Health Foundation.
“Troy and Diane and their team also mix thousands of Blizzards up that we sell at the medical centers, and that’s a few days before Miracle Treat Day,” said Hillery Mork, development manager with Sanford Health Foundation. “This year, the Moorhead Dairy Queen had a record year and they raised over $40,000 for Sanford Children’s Hospital. So that is a lot of Blizzards!”
On top of the 8,000-plus Blizzards that the DeLeons sold this year, they also gave back throughout the summer in more personal ways.
“We try to get involved with the kids as much as possible. I started a little event where, when a child graduates from chemo, they could come over and I show them how to make a cake,” said Troy DeLeon.
“Getting to meet them has been quite inspiring to Troy and I,” said Diane. “They actually motivate us to be better people. They’re just so strong with what they’re going through.”
That tradition has created some memorable stories as well.
“One of the first kids that we invited over to make a cake, when she was 12, she came here and said ‘When I get to be 16, I’m gonna come and work here.’ Well, you know, time flies by and before you know it she’s 16 and she’s at the front counter asking for an application and we hired her pretty much on the spot,” said DeLeon. “Now she’s worked with us six years and she graduated college and she passed her nursing boards and now she’s going to be a pediatric nurse.”
Year after year, customer after customer, Blizzard after Blizzard, the DeLeons have put smiles on the faces of the people in their community with their frozen treats, and they’ve left an imprint on the hearts of Sanford Children’s patients as well. Their donations since 1999 now total more than $300,000.
“It does make me emotional,” said Diane. “That this little Dairy Queen store could be the facilitator of something so good.”
Posted In Awards & Recognition, Community, Fargo, Foundation