ELKHART, Ind., - Darryl Searer, chairman and president of the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) announced the updated totals for the Hall's debt elimination campaign, and the manufactured housing industry pledges and contributions far outpace those of the RV industry. When the program started about 18 months ago, the Hall's debt stood at approximately $2 million. The plan unveiled at that time was that each segment of the Hall's constituency would try to raise $1 million each within the next five years. To date, the MH industry has gotten solidly behind the program and has raised a total of $674,750 in pledges and contributions, while the RV Industry's pledges and contributions is $132,500. Overall, the campaign has reached $807,250, leaving a shortfall of $1,192,750 toward the $2 million campaign goal.
Searer said, "The MH industry got a kick start from an "angel" named Kevin Clayton, who personally pledged $200,000 paid out in five years, and he challenged other companies and individuals in MH industry to step up also--and many have. For example, Joe Stegmayer of Cavco Industries has pledged $50,000. Many others have donated from $100 to $25,000.
"What we need is for a few more "angels" on the RV side to step up now as they did in the earlier campaigns of the $100,000 challenge and the "Burn the bank note". The RV industry has fully recovered from 2007 -2008 recession and today the RV business is booming. I believe that the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum is a shining light for our two industries and belongs to everyone related to these two industries. We each should be proud of our beautiful facility, our history and heritage that it represents--proud enough to financially contribute to its continuing legacy."
The Hall has come a long way in the past four years since Searer volunteered to accept the challenge to lead the Hall out of a $5.5 million deficit when few thought the Hall could even survive. That debt has now been reduced to approximately $1.2 million, thanks in no small part to Searer's business acumen and leadership.
"I didn't do this alone," Searer noted. "It took both the support and leadership of our outstanding board of directors and the commitment of our volunteers, as well as generous contributions by many companies and individuals, to reach this point. Now that we are in the home stretch, we need a renewed commitment from members of our industries to take us over the finish line.
"The good news is that once we are debt free, the Hall will be completely self sufficient. Income from museum admissions, gift shop sales and hosting many events at our Northern Indiana Event Center will provide the funds to operate in the black. In addition, the board of directors passed a resolution that requires any new major project or addition to our facilities will not begin until it is fully funded.
"We are committed to making sure that the Hall will never again have to face the financial challenges that we experienced a few years ago."
"So I can only encourage my fellow industry members to become "angels" for your industries' legacy by sending us sprinting across the finish line by supporting the Hall with your financial contribution or pledge."
Contributions and pledges can be made online at www.rvmnhalloffame.org, or by mailing your contribution to:
Debt Elimination Challenge
RV/MH Hall of Fame
21565 Executive Parkway
Elkhart Indiana 46514
by Hall of Fame