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DL Boys and Girls Club was the first in Minnesota

Admit it, you were worried.

December crawled in very quickly after the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving, much quicker than any of us anticipated, and our hopes that there would be bountiful hills of beautiful white snow were all but extinguished. That was exactly the case until, just like snowflakes, weather alerts about an oncoming blizzard started drifting in over the valley.

Fret not, readers. If you were dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones you used to know, your wish has been granted.

A few years ago, if you were to ask me about the Christmas season, I would've probably filled your ears with my utmost disinterest over the holiday. To me, it seemed as though the ideas of goodwill, togetherness and family had all faded next to the growth of consumerism. I had grown to be quite the Scrooge, shrugging off holiday greetings with a very disgruntled, "Bah humbug" type of attitude.

That was, until I decided things didn't have to be this way. On a very cold winter's eve a few years back, I found a new love for the season as I drove past a local establishment set up to provide for less fortunate members of the community. I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't grow two sizes that day, when I discovered I could love this season again by being the change I had hoped to see in the world.

Though the Boys and Girls Club of America was not founded in the Red River Valley, its origin actually sprouting from Hartford, Conn., it certainly has planted deep and meaningful roots here. It arrived on a very snowy Dec. 20, 1955, when Mrs. Bernice Crovisier contributed 10 acres of land belonging to her family to the purpose of serving the children of this region.

The donation of land, made in honor of Bernice's son, Sgt. Lyle Crovisier, who fought and gave his life while serving in the U.S. Air Force during a mission in 1943, was made in hopes of delivering a certain joy and delight to the children of Becker County. Bernice, who had watched the 12 of her own children grow and play on a very special hill to her family, a hill that is historically located on the northeast side of Detroit Lakes, granted the spot to the city in hopes of "seeing children sliding down the hill again."

Just two years later, in 1957, Crovisier's dream became a reality when community members' efforts to decrease overall juvenile delinquency merged with her plan to provide for the children of Becker County. As the pieces of a unified plan slowly started to come together and efforts were combined, an organization found its home, becoming the very first official Boys and Girls Club in Minnesota.

Sixty-two years later, the organization lives on, serving more than 150 children with various afterschool programs in the region. That hill I had mentioned earlier that was so beloved by Bernice and her family has become famously known throughout the community for the magic and joy that it bestows upon the many young hearts that get to enjoy sledding and sliding down it just as she had dreamed.

Readers, I wish you a very bright and beautiful holiday season. Make the most of the time you have with those you love. Whatever your religion or personal belief, take into consideration this time of the year, as the weather gets colder and our families get closer, that you might be able to be the change for someone in need.

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