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Old Festival Foods donated to become Boys and Girls Club in Holmen

Kaitlyn Riley

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Dave and Barb Skogen announced the donation of their building for the Boys and Girls Club Wednesday.

Restocking shelves with fresh opportunities after years of being closed, the Holmen Festival Foods will become a center for the Boys and Girls Club.

Jake Erickson, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater La Crosse, said once complete, the building will give kids a place to explore their skills and find where they belong.

After being unable to sell the building for almost three years, the Homen Festival Foods will become a center for the Boys and Girls Club.

“This is a great day,” Erickson said. “This is a great day for the Holmen area, a great day for the Boys and Girls Club but, most importantly, a great day for kids.”

Dave and Barb Skogen announced the donation of their building, which they said is valued at $2 million Wednesday.

“This store has been for sale for about two to three years,” Barb Skogen said. “I truly, in my heart, feel that the higher being said, ‘Nope. This is not to be a location for another retail space. There is a better use for this building, and it is for the betterment of the Holmen community.’”

Renovations and programming for the Boys and Girls Club are estimated at $7 million.

The goal is to offer multi-generational programming, so youth can teach seniors life lessons and vice versa.

Estimated costs for renovations and programming are up to $7 million and include building gymnasiums, a dance studio, technology center, academic center, music and recording studio, teaching kitchen, teen center, and more.

They hope to raise $1.5 million by the end of this year and have the facility open by the fall of 2020.

“We are going to fill this place up with kids and adults and just have so many opportunities to do stuff,” Dave Skogen said.

This will be one of the first Boys and Girls Clubs to have a center with multi-generational programming.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.