He is the one who brings laughter to the lives of everyone. He is the one who has dedicated his life and all of who he is to the art of stand up comedy. He is the one who believes in others as they pursue their dreams. He is the one who needs us now to bring laughter and a smile back to him.
He is Dan Conlin.
It's not easy to ask for help but the reality is, Dan needs our help.
The past few years have been incredibly challenging and while Dan would continue to give to others and put every penny he had into the Jukebox Comedy Club , he's left nothing for himself. It also left him in the position to only make temporary fixes, nothing permanent like that is needed which brings us to today.
Dan's list of needs is extensive and has truly overwhelmed him. Personally, he is in need of some basic care (dental/vision/I won't even begin to list the reasons he needs to see a doctor but cannot afford to), his car has only one wiper, a cracked windshield, a window that won't roll back up and, well, I'm thankful it runs even if barely ...but most concerning to me outside of his health is the very real possibility of losing his home.
It's simply not fair that someone who has not taken a vacation or day off in 17+ years and lives to bring laughter to the lives of others is suffering so very much and on the brink of losing everything.
His house is without central air, or any air conditioning, as it went out at the start of summer and repairing it (or the furnace before winter) is way beyond what he can afford. While I know the roof is in need of repair - and the gutters - I think we have time with them, at least another year or two... fingers crossed.
However, it's impossible to do anything for his health or keep up on his mortgage payments, let alone get air when he puts every spare penny he has back into the Jukebox.
Helping Dan save his home and health is important to me but what is truly important to Dan is to save the Jukebox Comedy Club and to continue to bring the very best in Stand-Up Comedy to Central Illinois.
Losing the Jukebox would not only be a significant loss to the comedy community, to Peoria and Central Illinois but it's a loss that I am not sure that even with the love of our family that Dan can get through. The Jukebox is his life.
He's been hit with one thing after another. The list of items in need of repair is never ending: The roof, the parking lot, the refrigeration unit, the horizontal coolers, the central air, the furnace, the plumbing, the ice maker... I could go on and on... it's truly a never ending list of items that have been taken care of - most exceeding what their life should be but have simply aged out and all need repaired at once.
His dream is to add onto the Comedy Club, expanding the space and experience for his customers and he has the space to do it but can't even begin to think about making that happen when the list of priorities of current needs is so significant.
However, he can't do this alone - or at all, anymore - without our help. We need to come together to help Dan - to save Dan from losing it all. To bring a smile and laughter back to the incredible man who has dedicated everything to bringing laughter to Central Illinois.
I know that many have seen the more challenging parts of him over the years. Since taking over the Jukebox Comedy Club he lost one of his brothers, his father, and the most important woman in his life... his mother. His personal life took an unexpected dive early on and getting through the loss of so many in his family is something he will always struggle with. I know that he didn't always cope in the best ways. We've all seen that side but I get to see another side of him. The compassionate, caring, loving side.
Dan has taken on the most important role in the lives of my children, loving and supporting them. While that may sound easy, it's important to remember that my son was born with a genetic disability which presents significant challenges in his everyday life. Many people shy away from him but not Dan. Dan embraces him, encourages him and believes in him - and my daughter.
He has done for them what he has done for the entire community, he's shared his love of the art of comedy with them. Being at the Jukebox with Dan is their most favorite place. We've talked a lot about ways to make the Jukebox a place for my son to work as he is older and ways to accommodate others with disabilities so they can be a part of our comedy family. Dan has big dreams for what can be with the Jukebox and I don't want to see them slip away.
Most importantly, I don't want to see Dan slip away. We have to come together and give back to him. We have to support him the way he has supported so many over the years, from comics to community members.
Dan and I have watched multiple comedy clubs close over the past few years. We don't want that to happen to the Jukebox.
Dan has brought life back into my family. He has given us a fresh start, hope and most of all so much love.
More than anything, I want to give back to him, to help him get back on his feet and succeed again. To let him know that the love for him extends beyond my little family and that he is appreciated by the world he has touched and brought laughter to.
Please help me help him get back on his feet to thrive again. I know we can do this....
Every amount helps and makes a difference. If you are local to Central Illinois, come out to a show - every weekend is amazing. Every comic that graces the Jukebox stage has been researched extensively by Dan and is only the very best. If you can donate your time and services to help with repairs - please let me know!
Please help spread the word and let's give back today!
- Ann Bill
- Dana Shanholtzer Clinard
- Brandon Bennett
- Nick Rapp
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