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Verndale getting youth center

Verndale youth can look forward later this winter to the opening of The Anchor.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of Verndale will operate the youth center, which was formerly a restaurant called The Pirate's Den in downtown Verndale.

"We were kind of in a pinch for space," CMA youth pastor Joshua Hauge said. "Then Brad and Shari Schmidt called and told us they would be willing to give us The Pirate's Den."

The Anchor will be just that -- a place for Verndale youth to meet and "drop anchor." Members of the Verndale school have volunteered to tutor students at the center and Hauge said the church is planning to supply a couple of computers for the center.

The youth center will also be a place where kids can come in and "learn about Jesus," Hauge said. The center will host Bible study meetings and will also have a variety of games.

The center will be operated as a free service to kids.

"This will just provide them with a safe place to be," Hauge said.

Donations made to operate the center will go directly to The Anchor.

The center may open in January but Hauge considers early February to be the most realistic target for the opening, which will include an open house in either February or March.