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Plenty of summer field trips at Boys and Girls Club

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Between grants, summer programming, field trips, an upcoming magician show and another round of JCPenney's Round-Up program, the Boys and Girls Club of Detroit Lakes is in the midst of another busy summer.

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The JCPenney Round-Up program is Aug. 5-16 where anyone making a purchase at the JCPenneys in Detroit Lakes can round up to the next dollar and that money will be donated to the local Boys and Girls Club.

The money raised is then used for after school programming at the club.

But right now the club is in the midst of its summer program. The club is averaging about 80-100 kids a day, with over 5,500 meals served in June and July.

To help pay for those meals, the club received a $3,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation and $500 through the Minnesota Vikings Fund.

"I never thought we'd get that," Executive Director Pat Petermann said of the Wal-Mart grant. "It goes out to every (Boys and Girls) club in the nation. It was a nice surprise."

An even larger grant the club applied for and received this year was $39,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation for a resource development position. Petermann said the goal is to sustain the position within the budget so it will be a continuous position and not a one-year job.

"The growth has expanded so much, but we're finally leveled off," he said. Now it's time to concentrate on marketing the club and thrift store more, finding more grants and keeping the club at its rate of success.

An event that will help with that is a pairing with the Shriners to bring a magician/illusionist to Detroit Lakes Aug. 28.

The Shriners approached the club, which was happy to take on the task, to sell tickets and keep the funds from those sales.

"The Boys and Girls Club will be the beneficiaries, we just have to sell the tickets," Petermann said. "Any ticket sales will be profit for the club."

Tickets are $10.

That ticket money can help with all the activities going on at the club.

The summer has been a full one for staff and kids alike at the club. There are field trips, summer school, and plenty of hourly programs.

The Boys and Girls Club partnered with Detroit Lakes Schools for Targeted Services, where a couple teachers come in throughout the summer and provide summer classes.

"It seems to be going really well," Program Director Stacy Heinlein said.

Members of the 4-H program also come in once a week to work on projects with club members, and some of the projects were even entered in the Becker County Fair this weekend.

There have been golf outings to Ironman Golf Course, a visit from the Detroit Lakes Fire Department for Stop, Drop and Roll Week and a visit from a baking business where the kids got to decorate cupcakes.

The more structured programs at the club include physical fitness, computer lab, arts and crafts, Mad Scientist, Boys Club, Girls Club, rock climbing and fishing.

"We take fieldtrips throughout the community," Heinlein said.

Kids have toured Okeson's, Foltz trucking, BTD and SJE Rhombus as well.

"We get out in the community so kids can see the various businesses."

The club also paired with the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center to transport kids from the club to the DLCCC for swimming lessons, taking the burden of running kids back and forth off parents' schedule.

With all those options and activities, it's no wonder there's never a quiet moment at the club during the summertime.

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