SANDWICH – Bizarre – that’s what Sandwich Mayor Rick Olson called a tongue-in-cheek request that the city change its name as part of a promotional stunt.
On Monday, Dairy Queen requested that Sandwich, Illinois, and two other similarly named towns change their name to Wrap in honor of the fast food chain’s new chicken wrap 5 Buck Lunch.
In a news release, Barry Westrum, executive vice president of marketing for American Dairy Queen Corporation, said the company was “offering an opportunity for the city to break away from the pack and be the first in the nation to be named Wrap.”
The release went on to say Dairy Queen would donate to the nearest Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in the name of Wrap, Illinois, and would donate blankets to the city “to help the needy stay wrapped up and warm this winter.”
Lauren Simo of Pierson Grant Public Relations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said the company doesn’t really expect anyone to change their name.
“This is kind of something done in really good humor,” she said. “It was kind of funny to ask them to change their name to Wrap.”
Olson said he first heard about the request when a Dairy Queen spokesperson called him two weeks ago. When he informed her it’s up to the City Council to make that decision, she offered to drop off samples of the lunch for the council. Since Olson and other town officials were scheduled to attend a meeting in Itasca to discuss a new police station, the food was delivered to the police department instead.
Olson noted that Sandwich doesn’t even have a Dairy Queen. The nearest location is in Yorkville, about 10 miles away.
“Now, if they wanted to announce they were opening a Dairy Queen in town, we’d be open to that,” he said.
Olson said this isn’t the first time the city has received such a request. In 1996, Campbell’s Soup wanted to add soup to the town’s name.
“That was kind of cool,” he said. “They had a mock parade.”
Olson said the city also was once approached by Kentucky Fried Chicken, which had 10 people dressed as founder Colonel Sanders parachute into the local airport to have their new chicken sandwich evaluated by the Sandwich police.
Ironically, Sandwich wasn’t even named after a sandwich. According to the city history, Sandwich is named after Sandwich, New Hampshire, the hometown of “Long John” Wentworth, an influential Chicago politician who helped develop the community and got the Chicago, Burlington, Quincy Railroad to stop in town.