Emily Flake / Daily Journal: Wayne Gschwend, Speedy Peterson, Dave Axell, Kirk Berge, Richard “Sutch” Suchy, and Deanna Mounts present a $15,000 check to the Veteran’s Home recreational fund as a result of Saturday’s POW/MIA Rememberance Bike Run.

Archived Story

Antonsen donates prize to vet’s home

Published 10:59am Friday, July 27, 2012 Updated 11:23am Friday, July 27, 2012


The POW/MIA Rememberance Run last Saturday, July 21, accomplished what it set out to do: Raise awareness of American soldiers who are prisoners of war and missing in action, from all conflicts.

However, Duane Antonsen proved “a real blessing” during the event’s raffle. When his name was called as the winner of the Blackline Softail Harley Davidson motorcycle, he went up to the front to assumedly collect his prize. Instead, he surprised everyone when he announced that he was donating the bike back to the vet’s home and would be auctioning it off at 10 p.m. that night.

According to Speedy Peterson, the organizer of the event and a member of the Underwood American Legion, Antonsen has been a regular supporter of the bike runs and other charity events.

“It surprised me, yet it didn’t. I thought, ‘If someone were to do something like that, it would be Duane,’” said Peterson.

The bike sold for $11,400 to Dave Axell, a Fergus Falls Vietnam War vet. The combined funds resulted in a $15,000 check presented Wednesday to the veteran’s home recreational fund, which provides residents with entertainment like restaurant outings, music and parties.

According to Deanna Mounts, the development and volunteer service manager with the Veterans Home, Antonsen’s actions had a profound effect. “We were all shocked, and in awe of such support he had for fellow veterans,” she said. “It’s not something that happens very often.”

“I probably needed a truck more than a bike,” joked Axell.

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