Mississippi Mud: A flavor that unites a community during disaster

When a catastrophe hit the Mississippi River in 1933, the Quad Cities suffered great loss to their community. With extensive damage to the area, the community came together to help those in need during this tragic event. 


Whitey’s Ice Cream shop has been a part of the Quad Cities community since 1933. With locations in Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport, people from all around come to eat the delicious flavors it has to offer. Becoming a true fan favorite in the community, Whitey’s strives to create and sustain an endless bond by caring for the needs of the Quad City area.           

Whitey’s decided to take action during The Great Flood of 1933 to help ease the burden of damages that were created by making a new ice cream flavor and donating the proceeds to the Red Cross.

Aptly named, the “Mississippi Mud” ice cream flavor was born: a coffee flavored ice cream base swirled with Oreo cookies and a fudge rumble. Even in the midst of disaster, people came together for something good that ultimately benefitted those affected by a disaster.

Decades later in 2019, when the Mississippi River flooded the Quad Cities area again, the Mississippi Mud ice cream fundraiser was back in full force. With endless damages to the city of Davenport, Whitey’s and the Red Cross were able to support those in need.

“Being able to have something that everyone can get behind while enjoying a dip of ice cream is a good thing,” Annika Tunberg, vice president of Whitey’s Ice Cream said. “It’s just a way that people can do something or feel connected to the situation and give back even in the slightest way.”

The Red Cross is grateful to Whitey’s for uniting the community and contributing to disaster relief. When disasters hit the area, it is so powerful to see the help that comes and the impactful way people want to help. And Whitey’s provides another opportunity to help in times of need.

“Being a part of this fundraiser has been so special, it has given both of us the opportunity to help the community in a creative way,” said Trish Burnett, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Serving the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois.

This fundraiser raised awareness and money for the American Red Cross while allowing the public to get behind something greater. 

“Over a few weeks’ time we were able to donate all profits from the sale of the flavor to the Red Cross,” Tunberg said, “We were able to raise $45,000.”

As the amazing relationship between The Red Cross and Whitey’s Ice Cream continues, so will the Mississippi Mud flavor. This fundraiser has made such a positive impact on the Quad Cities community and will continue for disaster relief when needed. Though this is a fundraiser for disasters and those in need, it will continue to be a way for the community to come together as one. Read more about the flavor’s origins here.

Written by Communications Intern Julie Piz

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