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Ice cream for a cause, DQ to donate a portion of special treat sales to statue's restoration

By Vinde Wells


Ice cream lovers can enjoy their favorite treat while contributing to the renovation of a local landmark.

Dairy Queen in Oregon has teamed up with the Oregon Trail Days Committee on a special deal that runs through Monday, July 22.

Manager Jennifer Holley said that with every purchase of a “turtle” treat, Dairy Queen will donate $2 to the fund to restore the 102-year-old Black Hawk Statue, which is showing the effects of age and weathering.

That includes chocolate-coated waffle bowl turtle sundaes, medium and large turtle pecan cluster blizzards, and large turtle sundaes.

“We’re doing this to be community involved,” Holley said.

A second special between Dairy Queen and the Oregon Trail Days Committee will continue for the next year.

Holley said a new treat, the Black Hawk Brownie Blizzard, has been created especially for the promotion.

With every purchase of the medium or large size of the new blizzard, which is made with caramel and chocolate brownie, Dairy Queen will donate $1 to Oregon Trail Days. The promotion lasts through the end of the 2014 festival.

Created by world-renowned sculptor Lorado Taft in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the statue is located on a 125-foot bluff overlooking the Rock River at Lowden State Park north of Oregon.

The ravages of time and weather have caused statue to crack, and large pieces of its concrete surface have dislodged. The folded arms of the 50-foot monolith have been especially affected.

The cost of the restoration is estimated at $625,000.

More than half the money for the project has come from a $350,000 grant the IDNR received from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The rest is coming from donations, as well as funds raised during the annual Oregon Trail Days festival, which has been held at Lowden State Park since 2010.

A large contributor was the Jeffris Family Foundation, Janesville, Wis., which gave a $150,000 matching grant.

Experts will examine the statue this summer to determine the extent of the damage and what needs to be done to restore it. The work is slated to begin in 2014.

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