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Supporting aviation history

Museum fundraiser to give away 25th plane

Eloise Ogden/MDN Duane Haugstad, left, Dakota Territory Air Museum board member, and Don Larson, museum board president, are shown with the 1945 J-3 Cub, the 25th plane that will be given away this year during the museum’s annual fundraiser. The event goes to support museum operations.

Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot has given away 24 planes in the past 24 years in its annual fundraising event.

A classic 1945 J-3 Cub, is the 25th plane set to be given away in this year’s event.

Don Larson, president of the museum’s board of directors, said the event is the museum’s main fundraiser.

Proceeds of the annual sweepstakes event primarily goes to operations of the museum including educational programs. This includes the ACE and PACE aviation camps for students offered at the museum.

Duane Haugstad, who has headed the sweepstakes fundraising committee for a number of years, and Larson said the fundraiser also goes toward displays and other ways to support the museum.

The fundraiser culminates this year on Aug. 14 when the grand prize recipient is announced. It is being held in conjunction with the fly-in and patriotic celebration marking the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the end of World War II in the Pacific.

Planes used in the fundraiser since its inception have been worth from $15,000 to $30,000.

“The J-3 Cub is one of the classic, very desireable historic airplane. We have given away a number of them because they are so popular,” said Haugstad.

In recent years, the museum, a nonprofit organization, has given people a $20,000 cash option to the grand prize recipient.

Haugstad said this was done to broaden their scope of people donating to the event and because not everyone wants an airplane.

Twenty-five leather bomber jackets are also given away during the fundraising timeframe.

Larson said the fundraiser using a plane started as a brainstorming idea that he and Warren Pietsch, also a museum board member, came up with. It developed from there.

He said the first plane used in the fundraiser was an Aeronca Champion. “The first one was successful but it was something we did locally (in the state of North Dakota),” Larson said. “We did that for the first three or four years.”

The event has since expanded including through the internet and reaching worldwide.

“We’ve sold tickets to Australia, Norway, Germany, Norway, South America…,” Larson said.

“And Canada,” Haugstad added.

“The majority of our tickets are sold outside this four-state area – North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota. We’re drawing a lot of money in from outside the local area,” Larson said.

He said a woman from Norway bought tickets and also researched what she would need to do to ship a plane to Norway. But she didn’t win the plane.

Tickets for the fundraising event are $50 each.

Larson and and Haugstad said the fundraiser provides continued support to help keep aviation history alive.

For more information about the air museum visit dakotaterritoryairmuseum.com or call 852-8500.

Authors, Artists and Airplanes set for Saturday

Authors, Artists and Airplanes will be held Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dakota Territory Air Museum, Minot.

The event will showcase the museum’s airplanes and local authors and artists. It is one of several events planned at the air museum this season. For more information call the museum at 852-8500.

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