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Fundraiser for United Way of Becker County set to take place this Friday

The Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes is one of the agencies that receive funding from the United Way of Becker County every year.

So when they were approached by the United Way to make a donation for its annual business drive, they wanted to contribute — but they thought they could make a bigger impact if they held a fundraiser, and opened it to the public.

That resulted in the first-ever Build-Your-Own Baked Potato Lunch, which will be held at the Boys & Girls Club this Friday, Oct. 18 from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

“We’ll be raising money for the United Way, and also getting people in the community to come to the club and see all the things we have happening here,” said Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Pat Petermann.

The Boys & Girls Club will be offering a full day of programming for the kids that day, due to the MEA break.

There will be no classes at Detroit Lakes Public Schools from Wednesday through Friday, so the club will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the three days (they will also be serving an evening meal for the participants daily, at 5:30 p.m.).

“We have 84 kids signed up to be here (over the break),” Petermann said.

The club’s typical after-school attendance ranges between 125-300 kids, he added, though about 25-30 of those are teenagers in grades 5 and up, who take part in the club’s teen program.

Rather than going to the club, the teens go to Grace Lutheran Church each day, where they have their own program coordinator to organize activities and help them with their homework.

“The teens wanted to have their own space to hang out and do things,” Petermann explained. “They have foosball and a pool table, games to play, and on nice days, they can go outside.”

The teens are involved in some community service projects as well, he added.

Because the club will be open all day Friday, that means those who come to the lunch will have a chance to not only tour the facilities, but also see the kids in action, Petermann said.

And, of course, they will get the chance to enjoy a nice, nutritious baked potato, piled high with healthy (and a few not-so-healthy) ingredients.

The potato bar will be piled high with a variety of toppings, from broccoli, green peppers and onions to bacon, cheese and sour cream — not to mention chili and green peppers.

“People can put their own toppings on —  as much or as little as they want,” Petermann said.

The cost is a free will donation.

The kids will be eating a separate meal prior to the luncheon, he added, so those who attend will have a chance to watch them taking part in various activities.

All proceeds raised will go directly to benefit the United Way of Becker County, Petermann said.

The Boys & Girls Club is located at 150 Richwood Road, up the hill behind Four Seasons Car Wash at the northwest corner of the Highway 34 intersection.

For more information, please call the Boys & Girls Club at 218-847-5700.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454