Inside Gillette Blog

Celebrating Longtime Supporters—and a New Space for Gillette Families

Posted On: 08/24/2010

Our new building and skyway at our St. Paul hospital will be opening later this year. But yesterday, we celebrated the opening of two key pieces to our expansion project: the Dairy Queen Family Room, and a new Health Resources and Education area (formerly called the Family Resource Center).

In Health Resources and Education, patients and families can access books, magazines, DVDs and online materials about disabilities. There’s plenty of seating, and even an area to watch videos.

The Dairy Queen Family Room — made possible thanks to a generous grant from DQ, our Children’s Miracle Network partner for over 25 years — is a special space for families to relax and enjoy snacks and beverages while they’re waiting for their child’s appointment. And with the opening of a Ginkgo Coffee Shop less than two weeks away (which will offer coffee, lattes and other brewed drinks, along with sandwiches, salads, sweets and more) families will have plenty to snack on!

We invited our DQ friends and Gillette staff to see the beautiful new space and enjoy some tasty Dilly Bars. And Gillette’s Margaret Perryman, had a special message for DQ. Check out a video of her speech, here.

And here are some photos of the new space!

Here's a view of our new Dairy Queen Family Room.


Some patient volunteers handed out Dairy Queen treats to celebrate the new space.


Here's the entrance to our new Health Resources and Education area.


Independence Day for Gillette’s Operating Rooms!

Posted On: 08/19/2010

Say the words “Independence Day” and one date usually comes to mind — July 4th.  But for Gillette’s surgery department, freedom came a little earlier this year.  That’s because, in mid-June, we opened our very own reprocessing facility in St. Paul.

But what, exactly, does reprocessing mean?  It’s a fancy word for the area where surgical instruments are sterilized, dried, and prepared for their next use.  Our new reprocessing facility is saving our staff LOTS of time.  That’s because, until this summer, we shared Regions Hospital’s reprocessing center — a 10 minute walk, both ways, from our surgery suites.  Just think about how much time and effort that took staff to transport equipment back and forth!

So this June, after months of construction, our brand new reprocessing facility is open for business.  Conveniently located next to our operating rooms, it gives Gillette staff everything they need to sterilize our equipment.  But most importantly, it lays the groundwork for a major expansion of our surgery suites that begins in 2011— an expansion that includes growing our number of operating rooms, and making ALL of our surgery suites large enough to accommodate the complex surgeries our patients so often need. 

Here’s the reprocessing team with the sign announcing our “independence day”.

This instrument washer can heat instruments up to 194 degrees.

This steam sterilizer heats equipment to 275 degrees. Now that’s HOT!

Announcing Miracle Treat Day Photo Contest Winners!

Posted On: 08/18/2010

Two weeks ago we invited you and your friends, family and coworkers to share Miracle Treat Day photos for the chance to win free Dairy Queen food and treats. See below for the lucky winners of a $25 Dairy Queen gift card!  While you’re here, don’t miss this Dairy Queen video recapping our Miracle Treat Day fun.

Looking for another way to get involved? Miracle Jeans Day is only a month away on Wednesday, Sept. 15. On Miracle Jeans Day, you and your coworkers can pay just $5 for the privilege of wearing jeans to work. All of the funds raised come back to Gillette. Visit to learn more, then call 651-229-1709 to sign your workplace up.

Thanks to all who participated in our Miracle Treat Day photo contest. Congratulations to winners Keegan, Allison, Rachel, and Donovan!

In the Mood for Lemonade?

Posted On: 08/15/2010

There’s nothing that says “summertime” like a child’s lemonade stand on the front lawn. And while lemonade’s a refreshing treat on any summer day, it tasted even sweeter this past Sunday. Why? Because at 8-year-old Anna Geherin’s lemonade stand, all proceeds benefited Gillette!  Anna and her family served up all things lemon — including lemonade, lemon bars, lemon drops, lemon cookies, and even lemon popsicles — to friends, neighbors and passersby.

If you think a lemonade stand only earns small change, think again! Last year, Anna’s lemonade stand raised $500 for Gillette. This year she raised even more — $550 — and is already planning for next summer.    

There are lots of ways that you and your kids can make a difference for Gillette — and have fun doing it. If you have an idea to share, leave us a comment and tell us about it!

Here’s some photos of Anna and her friends at her lemonade stand.

Send Us Your Miracle Treat Day Photos, Get Free Dairy Queen!

Posted On: 08/08/2010

Here at Gillette we’re still on a “sugar high,” of sorts, after the flurry of activity last Thursday, Miracle Treat Day. That’s because, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Dairy Queen Blizzard, our friends at DQ had a few NEW surprises up their sleeve for our patients, including visits from Miss America, Miss Minnesota and the famous DQ Blizzard mobile.

Miracle Treat Day is over until next summer, but there’s two ways that you still can join the fun — and support a great cause.

Submit Your Photos.  Email your Miracle Treat Day photos to and you’ll be entered to win free Dairy Queen food and treats. The contest ends at midnight tonight, so don’t wait.

Give (and Get).  Through this Tuesday, you can make an online donation to the FOX 9 Countdown to Miracles telethon. For every $25 you give, you’ll get $25 in DQ food and treat vouchers. Click here to take advantage of this sweet deal.

Here’s a few Miracle Treat Day photos our patient families have shared with us.  We can’t wait to see yours, too!  Do you have Miracle Treat Day memory or story to share?  Tell us about it by leaving a comment below.

Gillette patient Brandon Wittrock visited staff at the Burnsville, Minn. Dairy Queen on Miracle Treat Day.

Tyler Schell, another Gillette kid, chatted with customers at the Woodbury, Minn. Dairy Queen and asked them to buy a Blizzard.

Miracle Treat Day Is Today!

Posted On: 08/04/2010

Today — Thursday, August 5 — is Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day! Participating DQs will donate $1 or more for every Blizzard sold today to Gillette through Children’s Miracle Network. Since 1989, DQ has raised more than 2.5 million for Gillette. Donations support life-changing care for children who have disabilities and complex medical conditions.

You can help make miracles happen today! It’s easy. Here’s what you can do:

    Buy a Blizzard!  Invite a friend, treat your whole office,or enjoy a special outing with your family today. For every Blizzard sold, DQ will donate $1 or more to Gillette through Children’s Miracle Network.
    Visit  There, you can find your participating DQ, submit your Miracle Treat Day photos for a chance to win FREE DQ treats, and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.

Earlier today, DQ kicked off Miracle Treat Day by visiting Gillette patients — the very kids who will benefit from this special day. Of course, every child received a Blizzard to enjoy!

Gillette patient Katelynn Kenney was excited to get her Blizzard — and meet Miss Minnesota Kathryn Knuttila! Knuttila helped DQ pass out Blizzards to Gillette inpatients this morning.

 The DQ Blizzard mobile paid a visit to Gillette, too!


What a group! Children's Miracle Network CEO Scott Burt, Miss Teen Minnesota, DQ CEO John Gainor, Gillette's CEO Margaret Perryman, Miss America and Gillette patient Bella Giraldo outside the DQ Blizzard mobile.