TLC Center fighting to stay open

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An area food pantry and thrift store is trying keep its doors open.

“Fighting to stay open is the bottom line,” said TLC Center founder Lori Laxton.

Laxton said the TLC Center in La Crosse is in jeopardy.

She said the cold winter has put the food pantry and thrift store in a financial crunch.

“We had over $10,000 worth of electric bills. It basically has drained our savings account, and you know we want to stay open for the community,” said Laxton.

Shoppers said they don't want the center to close.

“I would be really sad. In fact when we were here yesterday, it was the first time that I have heard of it. A friend brought me here and I saw the sign that they might be closing,” said Liz Larson.

“I procrastinated coming here. My mom and I just made it today, and I sorry that we took so long. I would like to keep coming here,” said Sally Walburn.

The TLC Center has been around for more than 7 and a half years.

It started in Holmen, and has been at its current location on the north side of La Crosse for more than 3 years.

Last year the TLC Center distributed 122,000 pounds of food, and so far this year it's gone through more than 80,000 pounds.

However, Laxton said the center is more than a food pantry and thrift store.

It's also a support system for the community.

“We tell everyone tender, loving care, but in my heart it has more of a meaning than that so it just comes out of my recovery of my addiction,” said Laxton.

Laxton said she was addicted to meth, but has been clean for eight years.

TLC Center has to be out of its current building by the end of August, if it can't come up with the money to stay.

Otherwise, Laxton is hoping to move to a smaller location.

TLC Center is looking for financial donations.

If you'd like to help, contact TLC Center at 608-781-9111.

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