ELKHART, Ind., - Thanks to several generous donations, the manufactured home on display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Indiana, is now owned by the RV/MH Heritage Foundation (Foundation), according to Foundation President Darryl Searer.
The home was originally erected and donated by Fairmont Homes for a period of one year for the purpose of showing visitors to the museum the evolution of mobile homes of the early to mid-20th century to today's modern affordable manufactured homes. Since it was opened to the public in late 2013 it has been toured by thousands of visitors to the museum.
As the clock was counting down to the end of the year when the home would have been removed by Fairmont Homes, Jim Shea, president of Fairmont Homes, offered to let the Foundation acquire the home for its wholesales cost of $62,140. He also offered to have Fairmont Homes donate the first $15,000 which he would match personally for a total contribution of $30,000. Part of the Fairmont agreement includes Fairmont having the first right of refusal when a new manufactured home is placed on the site.
Jim Scoular, president of Jimsco, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Foundation board member, volunteered to contribute the remaining $32,140 allowing the Foundation to acquire full ownership of the home.
Scoular's gift is a portion of a $200,000 contribution he made to kick off a new fundraiser for the purpose of building the manufactured housing museum which was part of the master plan when the RV/MH Hall of Fame was originally built, but was postponed due to the lack of funding.
According to Searer, the manufactured housing addition will cost approximately $500,000.
The remainder of Scoular's gift, $168,000, will be deposited in a designated escrow account to be held until the Foundation is debt-free and the remainder of construction cost for the addition is raised.
Searer explained, at that time the plan is to sell the manufactured home displayed at the museum with the proceeds from the sale credited to the MH museum addition fund which will restore Scoular's $32,140 contribution to purchase the home back to MH museum fund and bring his contribution back to its original $200,000. Construction of the MH addition will not begin until it is totally funded, the board having pledged to never go in debt again.
Searer said, "The board of directors and I are extremely excited and optimistic about the future of the Foundation. Our goal is to be debt free within five years, and I'm confident we can reach that goal. Thanks to the generosity industry people and companies like Jim Scoular, Jim Shea and many others the Foundation has lowered its debt from over $5.5 million in 2012 to less $2.1 million today.
"The RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, which I believe is the crown jewel of the RV and manufactured housing industries, could not exist without the generosity of so many caring industry members and companies."
by RV/MH Hall of Fame