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Jefferson's mayor serves up cold treats for good cause
Dairy Queen helps Children's Miracle Network
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Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner brings blizzards Thursday to Dairy Queen patrons . - photo by Claire Miller

JEFFERSON — Within his first half hour behind the counter at Dairy Queen, Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner had the steps to making a Blizzard down pat.

He knew how many scoops of Butterfinger pieces to put in a small cup, how to blend the ice cream and candy pieces together and showed onlookers how Dairy Queen blizzards can be turned upside down and not spill out of the cup.

Joiner worked behind the counter Thursday at the Dairy Queen in Jefferson to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

For every Dairy Queen blizzard sold nationwide Thursday, the chain will donate a portion of the proceeds to a local children’s hospital.

Children’s Miracle Network is a nonprofit organization that raises money for children’s hospitals across the U.S. The organization’s network of hospitals provide billions of dollars each year in charity medical care. The hospitals treat everything from broken bones to heart conditions.

And Dairy Queen restaurants have given more than $77 million to the organization in the past 25 years, according to David Gillespie II, one of the owners of the Jefferson store.

"We donated $4.5 million alone last year," he said. "The key thing for us is this is the 25th year we’ve partnered with (Children’s Miracle Network) ... and we’re trying to sell 500 blizzards today."

The staff members at the Jefferson store were all smiles as they called out blizzard orders and watched Joiner and Sharon Anderson, membership coordinator for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, create treats for customers.

"He (Joiner) is a natural-born blizzard maker," Gillespie said.

"You know how they say some people are born baseball players? Well, I’m a natural-born blizzard maker," Joiner added.

Gillespie said he worked with the chamber of commerce to get community leaders such as Joiner and Anderson inside the store for the day.

"We’re members of the chamber of commerce, and we called and asked if they could help us make this a success," he explained.

And the Jefferson staff was happy to have them.

"When are we going to start you full time?" Gillespie asked Joiner.

"We’ll have to work out my contract," Joiner replied.

Joiner and Anderson’s presence also brought out their family, friends and co-workers to the Dairy Queen, which meant more work for the ice cream store’s honorary employees.

Joiner’s wife, Ruth, and daughter Kelli came around noon for blizzards.

"I’m tickled to see him work here," Ruth Joiner said. "We’re glad to do this for Children’s Miracle Network. It’s a great thing."

Times reporter Brandee A. Thomas contributed to this report.

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