A day for Miracles

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The drive-through line led out to the street and cars were parked in the grass on Dairy Queen&8217;s Miracle Treat Day.

The proceeds from all Blizzard Treats sold Thursday went to the Children&8217;s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that raises funds for children&8217;s hospitals.

A line to the counter snaked outside the door, and Curly Top, the ice cream mascot, waved at the children.

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The money went to the Blair E. Baston Hospital for Children in Jackson, part of the CMN.

This is the first time Dairy Queens across the country designated one day to donate money to CMN, and almost 80 percent participated, Natchez Dairy Queen owner Larry Gardner said.

Local children and their parents who had benefited from CMN hospitals came to the restaurant to show their support.

&8220;We wanted people to see when they donated their dollars where their dollars go,&8221; Gardner said. &8220;They&8217;re real people with real issues.&8221;

By 5 p.m., the store had sold well over 500 Blizzards, he said, and he estimated that they would collect $2,000 in donations by the end of the day.

&8220;I am moved by the turnout,&8221; Gardner said. &8220;This is great.&8221;

One CMN child at the restaurant was Nicholas Stogner, a Natchez 2-year-old with cerebral palsy.

After two weeks at Natchez Regional Medical Center, he was taken to Blair E. Baston. There, they treated a blood clot in his brain and put a shunt in to divert the blood flow, his mother Jayna Stogner said.

One customer, Lashey Switzer, said she and her children came to DQ to get ice cream and see Nicholas, who she knows from church.

Lisa Bradley said she and her sons came right after school to get cool treats and help a good cause.