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Fund-raiser for Josh Hanson memorial is Sunday, March 18 at Legion

Friends and family want a substantial memorial for Josh Hanson, a local Guardsman who died in Iraq last year.

A log picnic shelter will be built in Maplewood State Park, just east of Pelican Rapids. Estimated cost is $50,000.

The 28-year-old Minnesota National Guardsman was killed in Iraq on Aug. 30 when his humvee was hit by an improvised explosive device.

He was serving with the 1st BDE 34th Infantry Division of the Minnesota Army National Guard, ABLE Company 2/136th CAB from Detroit Lakes.

Maplewood was chosen as the location because Hanson's parents both worked at the park, his father serving as park ranger for 29 years.

There will be a spaghetti feed and a live and silent auction on Sunday, March 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Detroit Lakes American Legion.

Organizer Dave Knopf said some of the larger auction items include four guns, snowmobile trailer, artwork and binoculars.

Some of the smaller items will be on the silent auction, including stays at bed and breakfasts.

"I want to stress we're getting some really nice items for the silent and live auction," he said.

Anyone wanting to donate auction items can contact fund-raiser organizers Dave Knopf at 847-7456, Jane Aschnewitz at 758-2158 or Becky Thompson at 863-5076.

Knopf said he's gotten involved because Hanson was the first soldier from the DL Guard unit killed in combat that he's aware of.

"It's the opportunity to help the family raise their goal," he said.

Also that day, the Frazee Restaurant will be holding a fettuccine dinner from 4 to 8 p.m., with proceeds going to the Hanson fund.

Those wanting to make donations can write checks to Parks and Trails, Friends of Maplewood-Hanson Memorial, and send them to David Knopf, Josh Hanson Memorial, 12649 280th Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.

Parks and Trails is a non-profit organization, so all donations are charitable and tax deductible.