Annual Grocers on the Green Fundraiser raises money for cancer care

Coborn’s would like to thank 60 generous teams of vendors who took part in this year’s Grocers on the Green fundraiser at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker, MN in September. Over its 16 years, this highly-anticipated event has raised more than $2.7 million to help support the fight against pediatric cancer.

The teams competed at this year’s event with each group contributing to the cause via four different sponsorship levels ranging from $750 up to $10,000.

Grocers on the Green enables St. Cloud Hospital to serve more children with cancer and blood disorders in Central Minnesota, without the added stress of having to travel to the Twin Cities for care, while providing the same quality through their partnership with Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota.

Fabulous child life specialists create an environment that is as pain-free and stress-free as possible. For the kids receiving chemo treatments, each time they have to have a needle poke or procedure, the child life specialists create a plan to find out what will work best for that child on that particular day. After treatments, kids get to pick out a prize from the treasure box or put a coin in the token tower. Grocers on the Green is proud to support these ongoing initiatives to make life more enjoyable for children who are enduring big things.

As part of the closing program, the participants were introduced to Kennedi Hay and her family. Kennedi was diagnosed with cancer of her right kidney in January when she complained of a stomach ache. The kidney was removed and she had six rounds of radiation followed by aggressive chemotherapy. Through it all, she kept smiling, especially when playing with her princesses.

Some of the money raised through Grocers on the Green was used to paint bright murals in the St. Cloud Hospital Pediatric Cancer services. These newly designed walls help brighten the spirits of both the kids and their families at a time when they need it most. When the artists painted the beautiful murals in short stay, they asked Kennedi what animal she likes best and she told them kitties. A kitten was then pained on the mural in her honor. 

Grocers on the Green began as an idea over drinks between Chris Coborn and Greg Kurr, CEO and President of Kemps. Chris wanted to do something to help support CentraCare’s mission to improve the health of every patient, every day, which is something that Chris’ father, Dan, was also passionate about. The rest is history.


The 60 teams participating in the event represented generous Coborn’s, Inc. vendors, including:


Pan O Gold

Famer-Bocken Co

Viking Coca-Cola

Russ Davis Wholesale

Hockenberg Kretschmar

Blue Bunny

Cameron’s Coffee

Blue Bunny

Cameron’s Coffee


Kraft Heinz Company

National Beef/Certified Hereford


Dean Foods

KeHe Food

Jennie-O Turkey

Willow Creek Brokerage

Greater Omaha Packing

Oasis Brands

Hormel Foods

Post Consumer Brands

Nestle Water NA

Old Dutch Foods

Ronnoco Coffee

Miller Coors

Crystal Farms

Anhauser Busch

C&L Distributing

Bernatello’s Foods

Rice Companies, Inc.

7 Up Snapple Co.

Musaco Family Olive Co.

J&B Group

Holiday Companies


Kennys Candy


Trident Seafoods

Land O Frost


MN Petroleum


Clearwater Travel Plaza

Advantage Solutions


Snyders of Hanover


Affinity Marketing Group

Carlin Group

In addition to Grocers on the Green, Food for the Cause, formerly called Food for the Cure, also helps support couples and families with young children. The money pays for counseling and classes for patients and their families, an endowment to fund registered nurse care coordinators, and participation in more than 50 clinical research studies. This special campaign raises nearly $200,000 annually.

Coborn’s in Mitchell raises $3,600 for Feeding South Dakota during fall gala

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Wow – a shout out to our team at Coborn’s in Mitchell for raising $3,600 for Feeding South Dakota during their fall gala event on September 23! The team decorated their deli seating area to give it a completely new look for the evening. Couple that with delicious food, wine, silent auction, entertainment by the Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) Highlanders Choir, and you’ve got quite a night! Miranda Mack, Miss South Dakota, even stopped by to join us for the event.

“This was a big one, we didn’t know what the turnout was going to be or how much money was going to be raised,” said Brock Burlack, Store Director at Coborn’s in Mitchell. “Those things are  always factors as to whether it is going to be worth it in the end; and with this event, it was definitely worth it.”

The impact of the dollars raised will go far to help people who don’t have access to food.

“The proceeds from an event like this help us distribute more food each day,” said Matt Gassen, CEO of Feeding South Dakota. “Every dollar donated from this event is going to provide four meals to fight hunger in the state of South Dakota. The statistic many people have heard is that 1 in 8 people in South Dakota are food insecure; 1 in 5 or 1 in 6 of those are children.”

Congratulations to our team in Mitchell for putting on such a remarkable event!

Feeding South Dakota CEO Matt Gassen speaks to the crowd.

Coborn’s Mitchell Store Director Brock Burlack and Coborn’s, Inc. Communication & Engagement Specialist Kevin Hurd with Miss South Dakota Miranda Mack.

Coborn’s, Inc. presented with “50 Most Engaged Workplaces” award at ACE Conference in New Orleans

This past week, Coborn’s, Inc. proudly received its “50 Most Engaged Workplaces” award at the ACE (Achievers Customer Experience) Conference in New Orleans. Becky Estby (Sr. Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development) and Kevin Hurd (Communications and Engagement Specialist), proudly accepted the award on behalf of the nearly 7,500+ remarkable employees who represent our company each day.

Coborn’s, Inc. listed with other award recipients.

The “50 Most Engaged Workplaces” award is special because it represents the hard work and dedication of our entire organization. Achievers defines an engaged employee as a person who is “fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work, inspired and often inspires others, and passionate and committed every day.” 

The journey to earn this award began when we entered the “50 Most Engaged Workplaces” competition, which is open to companies all across North America. As part of this contest, we completed a series of ten required essays on the topics of leadership, communication, culture, recognition and rewards, personal and professional growth, accountability and performance, vision and values, and corporate social responsibility. A third- party panel of judges considered the submitted essays and did not know the names of the companies in the contest. After learning we won this award, Chris Coborn (President, CEO and Chairman of the Board) announced the news to employees for this first time at our company’s annual ownership meeting.

The award!

Becky Estby (Sr. VP of Human Resources & Organizational Development) and Kevin Hurd (Communications & Engagement Specialist) with the award.

Now, we can proudly display this award to represent this amazing achievement by our employees!

Becky Estby, Sr. VP of Human Resources & Organizational Development (Center) co-presented about our Kudos program during the ACE Conference.

In addition to receiving this award at the ACE Conference, Becky was invited to co-present a session at the conference to help educate and inform other organizations about how to best implement their own recognition program like we do with Kudos. Both she and Kevin also attended a number of sessions to gain more ideas on how we can further engage employees across our company. And, being its New Orleans, they took in a few of the sights, sounds and tastes of the city with other companies who attended. Check out some of the pictures below!

The “50 Most Engaged Workplaces” gala.

The beignet is a piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. They were brought to Louisiana by descendants of French colonists and can be found all over New Orleans. They are amazing!

But first, let’s take a selfie…Becky Estby, Sr. VP of Organizational Development & Kevin Hurd, Communications & Engagement Specialist, pausing before taking first bites on the beignets.

Conference participants taking part in a parade organized by Achievers.