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Bench dedicated to local motor bike enthusiast two years after his death

(Source: knopnews2.com 05/22/2019)

By Beatriz Reyna 

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. KNOP He had a love for his family, dirt bikes and fast cars. For those who knew Tony Znaniecki, they will say he never slowed down and lived life to the fullest.

Members of the Friends and Brothers of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and Auxiliary dedicated a custom bench and playground equipment in honor of their friend Tony Wednesday evening. Tony was employed at Union Pacific Railroad at the time of his death.

The 42-year-old died in a tragic motor bike accident at his home in February 10, 2017.

Members say it was then they knew they needed to do something and raised $4,000 through various fundraisers for the bench, a spring car and motorcycle within a years time.

They say they couldn’t think of a more fitting way to honor him.

“Tony was really into the motorcycles, dirt bikes and fast cars and that was just his personality,” said BLET Auxiliary Chairman Travis Kuenning. “We would always hear stories of him as a little kid he would get on a play motorcycle and make sounds. When we first got here to the park there was a little boy going (makes motorcycle sound effect) and I about fell over you know, it’s fitting.”

“There will never be another Tony and I appreciate it so much for what they did in honoring his memory,” said Tony’s mother Patricia Odvarka. “There just isn’t enough words to say “thank you so much.” It’s beautiful! The people who did the engraving on it, oh my gosh, it is just really great!”

Tony left behind his wife, Chari; sons, Markus and Corbin Znaniecki.

Flatrock #8 BLET Auxiliary is a local and state advocate for many legislative issues that arise, also ensuring that the Railroad is compliant, standing up and speaking out for families and Community.

The local auxiliary has played an active role in contacting Senators lobbying the 2 man crew bill, a bill that would restrict freight train crews to no fewer than two people, protecting the local UPRR employees’ jobs, their families, community, and North Platte’s economy.

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