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Students help raise funds for Lakes Crises & Resouce Center

Detroit Lakes Middle School students (from left) Alicia Tribble and Kayla Waltz with one of the baskets they helped put together for auction at the annual Lake Crisis & Resource Center Banquet on Friday, March 27.

Staff and volunteers at the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center in Detroit Lakes are busy preparing to celebrate "Families: Life's Precious Jewels" at the LCRC's 19th Annual Banquet and Auction, set for Friday, March 27, at the Speak Easy in Detroit Lakes.

"This year, with the tough economic times, the number of individuals and families in need continues to increase," says Jan Logan, LCRC executive director. "There are a lot of new faces walking through our doors -- people who are desperate for the basic necessities of life -- food, clothing, gas, shelter.

"It's a rough time, and as times get tougher, tension in many families increases."

The monies raised through the March 27 banquet will go to support the critical services provided by LCRC in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, general crime and advocacy.

The LCRC also operates a parenting time center, Positive Connections, which "facilitates and supervises visitation and exchanges for children in a safe environment," Logan said.

In addition, the Health Families program, funded by the Children's Trust Fund, focuses on preventing and reducing child abuse and neglect by "helping families to build and strengthen their capacity to nurture their children."

In addition to raising funds for critical programs, the annual LCRC banquet also provides an opportunity for the organization to celebrate its accomplishments, and the community's support for its work -- which can be both inspirational and motivational, Logan said.

"It's going to be a gem of a celebration -- we're really excited about it," she said.

One new aspect to this year's celebration is the involvement of Detroit Lakes Middle School (DLMS) students.

Teacher Linda Mickelson and her husband Kevin, from Mickelson Farms, Inc., have attended the annual event repeatedly as a sponsor, and saw the potential for her students to make a difference along with her fellow teachers.

"Kids love to help," she says. "It makes them feel good. They just need a reason and some direction, and watch them soar."

She asked her fellow teachers to ask the kids to help, and they decided to put baskets together to be auctioned off at the event.

Students in the Primetime classes of Steve Zamzo, Linda Mickelson, Linda Vagle and Kathryn Haugrud brought in new items such as baby clothes, diapers, books, bibs, baby wash and lotion, toys, blankets, etc., to fill the baskets, which will be auctioned off at the banquet.

Mrs. Vagle's class donated a handmade baby quilt made during one of her family quilting weekends, while Mrs. Mickelson's and Mrs. Haugrud's classes decided to make their own fleece tie blankets for their baskets. Mr. Zamzo and his class have donated receiving blankets made by his wife, along with other items.

Sixth grade student Nihaar Joshi stated, "I think it's great that we are giving back. It shows that we care about the people in our community."

Mrs. Mickelson added, "The baskets are beautiful. I'm hoping the people that attend the banquet will recognize the work and heart that went into creating them, and that their final bid will reflect that."

Other items up for auction this year include tickets to see the Oprah Winfrey Show along with a free one-night stay at the Westin Hotel in Chicago; a seven-day, eight-night trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; round trip airfare to Las Vegas via Allegiant Air, plus 3-4 nights' lodging at the new Staybridge Suites in Las Vegas; 10 bottles of "Minnesota Nice" wine from Alexandria's Carlos Creek Winery; a copper and steel design wall from artist Pat Shannon; a kayak donated by Scheels in Fargo; and a "spa day" at your home including a massage for yourself and up to three friends.

There will also be live entertainment by local musician Tim Eggebraaten and some unique themed activities including a "carat cake" giveaway in which cupcakes with numbers on the bottom will be sold to guests, then the numbers will be put into a drawing for pieces of custom jewelry.

There will also be strands of "pearl" and "gold" beads sold for chances at cash prizes.

"It's going to be a really fun night," says Kathy Michaelson, LCRC board member and creative director for the banquet.

The LCRC banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, in the Speak Easy Restaurant. Tickets are available for $30 each, and include a full meal, music and a chance to bid on a variety of auction items.

They can be purchased at the LCRC (847-7446), at State Bank and Trust or Bremer Bank in Detroit Lakes.

Realizing a dream

Though it's still in the very early stages of planning, the LCRC is on the cusp of realizing a long-time dream: construction of a shelter for the victims of domestic violence.

"It's been a dream of the crisis center for many years, long before I came here," says Logan.

Through the anonymous donation of $1 million from a benefactor whom Logan describes as "a phenomenal woman -- an amazing human being with a very kind spirit," that dream will soon become a reality.

But first, a fund-raising committee will need to be formed and begin the process of raising the remaining funds to build and maintain the new facility, which will eventually serve as the LCRC's new headquarters as well.

A location for the shelter has already been chosen -- a parcel of land on Pelican Lane that was donated by local realtor DelRae Chivers.

But beyond that, Logan said, the project is still in the very early stages of development -- and anyone who wants to help, by volunteering to serve on the committee or making a donation toward the project, is welcome to contact her at 218-847-8572.

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