Community Partnership
The Conn family takes great pride in the Springfield community. We are dedicated to supporting local initiatives and projects that will enhance the quality of our precious city, as well as the life of its residents. Our community partnerships include:

     

    Partnership with SPARC:

    As an organization committed to both our community and the planet, we try to be a steward of the city of Springfield as well eliminate unnecessary waste whenever possible. Our partnership with SPARC is a great example of a win-win stemming from those two beliefs. Instead of throwing away our spent grains, we use them for several beneficial purposes- one of which is for the handmade dog biscuits available at our eatery. 

    SPARC, a local advocate agency for the developmentally challenged and disabled, has a local Work Center where their citizens perform meaningful work for real pay. They produce handmade dog biscuits through their Beg-o-Bone micro-business using natural ingredients, and we felt it was a natural connection to match their hard work and our spent grains for yet another good purpose. Special batches of dog bones using spent brewery grains are made just for Obed & Isaac's, and then offered for sale to share with our furry friends. Each batch made puts approximately 25 developmentally challenged/disabled citizens to work.

    Bring your best friends, both two- and four-legged, to our bocce garden to enjoy an afternoon in our K9 Social Club. While you enjoy our fine brews, your canine companions can enjoy natural-ingredient biscuits made with the otherwise-wasted byproduct!

    Learn more about SPARC here.

     

    Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival

    Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival (SOB Fest) was originated in 2010 as a charitable event where all proceeds to to a different local non-profit organization each year. As it has grown over the years, so has the charitable giving! As of 2014, the SOB Festival has given over $32,000 to local charities. To learn more about SOB Festival, click here.

    The 2014 recipient was Generation Healthy Kids, who received the largest SOB donation to date: $10,000! With that money, they created the SPI Community Works garden at 3rd and Canedy, on a parcel of land owned by the Conn's and allocated for use as a community garden. In spring 2015 the project kicked off, and by October 2015 the garden had yielded over 1,600 lbs of food! Most of the produce was given to the local residents and volunteers who maintained the garden, but some was used for cooking classes, potlucks, given to visitors- and donated to local shelters and food banks. Read more about it below.

    In 2015, the SOB Festival was able to host another successful event which resulted in a $10,000 donation to Muscular Dystrophy Association of Central Illinois. Stay tuned to see what they were able to accomplish with the grant.

     

    SPI Community Works Garden

    As a result of the 2014 Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival, Generation Healthy Kids was able to create what quickly became their flagship garden project. With a small abandoned lot provided by the Conn family, the team created 20 raised garden beds and planted in the spring of 2015. Thanks to great compost and heavy spring rains- not to mention the dozens of volunteers- the garden quickly took off. Over 1600 lbs of food was generated from less than 1/4 acre of garden space in the first year alone. 

    Some quick stats about SPI Community Works Garden, as of October 2015:

    • 400+ volunteer hours contributed
    • 1600+ lbs of food produced (at least- who knows what neighbors might harvest between worktimes!)
    • 30 adults participating at least semi-regularly
    • 20 kids participating at least semi-regularly


    Conn's Hospitality Group, Inc. Community Giving

    The Conn family and their related properties are deeply invested in the community-at-large. Conn Family Community Works is a 501(c)3 extension of Conn's Hospitality Group, Inc. that coordinates most of our charitable giving, community partnerships, and non-profit event planning/execution. Charitable donation requests are handled by Conn Family Community Works and then coordinated through the appropriate property in the portfolio. Conn Family Community Works supports many organizations and events across many categories, but are especially focused on organizations/events that fit the following criteria:

    • Non-profits; ideally 501(c)3 or other tax-exempt statuses
    • Organizations that benefit a group (or groups) of recipients more than an individual
    • Organizations/events that directly benefit the greater Springfield or Peoria communities in Illinois
    • Organizations/events where a significant majority-or all- of the proceeds go directly to recipients
    • In addition, special emphasis is given to orgs/events that focus the following areas: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Education, Environmental Protection, Healthy Living, Historic Preservation, Animal Welfare, and Youth or Human Services

    We regularly receive a large volume of requests, and are fortunate to be able to accommodate many of them. We will review all requests on a monthly basis and follow up with those requests that we are able to accommodate. While we would love to support all charitable events and organizations that approach us, it is not possible to grant every request we receive. We will attempt to reply to all requests, and in the instance we’re unable to help immediately, we encourage you to keep us in mind for future consideration.

    To download a printable Charitable Request form, please click here.

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