After five years, Travis Crowder is leaving the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada.
Crowder worked his way up to program director, starting as a part-time athletic director. He later became full-time athletic director, then program director.
"It was with mixed emotions that I told the staff and kids that I was leaving," said Crowder. "It was very hard for me to tell them."
Crowder will be the director of operations at the soon-to-open Boys & Girls Club in Yerington. He goes with the hope he can bring the Yerington club to the point where Carson City is now.
"It's a brand new club in a smaller community. I hope to go there with my knowledge from here to help it develop. If there's one thing the Boys & Girls Club is great in doing, is developing and training its staff."
Crowder announced his departure on Monday during the regular assembly. As he stood at the podium, his co-workers and teen leaders waited behind him for the announcement. Trying to keep his composure, he turned to them for support.
"There was lots of crying," said Crowder. "My co-workers had tears in their eyes, the teens, even my life Lori was crying. But when I had to tell the kids, that's when the reality of it finally set in. I was shaking like a rattle. One by one, the kids in the room were hugging and crying."
Seventeen-year-old Carrie Ostrander has been a member of the club since it opened in 1993. She did not take the news well.
"Travis actually told me two weeks ago he was leaving," said Carrie. "When he did, I just burst into tears. He has always been here for me. My dad works in Incline Village and is not home much and Travis has helped me a lot with fatherly advice. He's the greatest.
"But I'm happy for him. It's a big step up. He's done everything here and I hope he makes that club as great as this one. I know the kids will love him. He's always got a smile, a hug, a talk or a game. He's been here for all the kids. He's the first person everyone connects with. He'll be missed."
Amber Shields, Rachelle Cazel and Jordan Jeguerica, all 7 years old, also said they would miss him.
"He helps us when we get hurt," said Amber. "He put on a Band-Aid when I fell down."
"And, once when I fell," said Rachelle, "he put a cold rag on my face when I scratched it. He helps us a lot. And he plays games with us."
"I have to thank everybody for everything they've done for my family," said Crowder. "The kids, their parents and the Boys & Girls Club. They've done so much for me and my family, it's wonderful."
"I think the move will be good for us, as a family," said Lori Crowder, who will be the Yerington club's education director.
"It's in a small town and we can focus on our family and our jobs. This was a very tough decision for us. The kids are like family."
The Crowders have one son, Tommy, who is 2 1/2 years old, and Lori is 4 months pregnant with their second child.
"Everyone has been so supportive, we love them very much," said Lori. "At this time, the new jobs are a good opportunity for us."