Pictured from Left to Right: Mayor Jeff Bloemker, Lisa Schafer, Dawson Schafer, and Jon Schafer
The City of Effingham has named Baseball Card Connection as a recipient of the City of Effingham’s Business Appreciation Award.
“Baseball Card Connection has evolved into a very important presence in Downtown Effingham in the past 10 years,” stated Mayor Jeff Bloemker. “The global business activity they represent is very impressive. And their showroom product offering is amazing. Even more impressive is the guardian posture the Schafers have assumed Downtown. Because they live above their shop, they take the lead on beautifying the area and keeping watch out for unseemly behavior. Thank you to Jon and Lisa Schafer for the investment they have made in Downtown Effingham!”
Baseball Card Connection is owned by Jon and Lisa Schafer. The business started in 1992, located in a garage along Keller Drive. Since then, the business has moved three other times due to growth. After the Keller Drive location, the subsequent ones were downtown. They moved the business in 2006 to their current and largest location. The Baseball Card Connection has grown from selling only trading cards, to offering gifts, collectibles, and other miscellaneous items. In fact, they carry at least one item that represents every major league baseball, basketball, and football team. Baseball Card Connection has a large online business presence as well and this helps to offer such a wide variety of items to local customers. Their customer service both at the store and online has gained attention. They have sold to over 150,000 different customers on Ebay and have received 100% customer satisfaction top rated seller status and were even invited to visit Ebay’s headquarters.
The downtown area is very important to the Schafers as they have had a business located there for many years and made their home above their business five years ago. They are actively involved in the Downtown Effingham Business Group. Their favorite downtown event is Hometown Christmas because they love to make children happy. They were instrumental in working with the Downtown Business Group to raise $10,500 in addition to the Group’s contribution to renovate the Santa House. They continue to be involved with the maintenance of the house.
Community involvement, especially when it has to do with children, is very near to the Schafer’s hearts. Their business has always been oriented around the kids. They have been a sponsor for Park District sports teams, volunteered at coaching baseball and basketball, and have hosted end of season baseball all-star games for kids. They have also heavily participated with the CEO class for the last five years. Along with volunteering and contributing to many youth activities, they are also involved with Sacred Heart, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Humane Society, the United Way and provide donations for numerous charitable events.
Community support and business ethics are important to the entire family. Their son, Dawson, started working in the business when he was 5 years old. He is now 20, attends Eastern Illinois University obtaining a business degree, and works as a store supervisor at Martins IGA. He continues to work in the business and is very active in the community. He volunteered time working on the Santa house with landscaping and cleaning, along with helping with Hometown Christmas and Chili Fest.
We appreciate the positive impact Baseball Card Connection has on the Effingham Community and we would like to congratulate them on receiving this award.