Posts Tagged ‘RV/MH Heritage Foundation’

Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.

Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.

Bob Martin, president and COO of Thor Industries, Inc., recently made a personal contribution of $5,000 toward the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s “Burn the Bank Note” campaign. He presented his check in December following Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ visit to the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum (Hall) when the Governor presented his 2004 campaign motorhome to the museum which is on loan from the Indiana State Museum.

Thor Industries sponsored the presentation of the event.

Martin said, “The RV museum is a wonderful testament to the innovators and product innovations that have made the RV industry successful and resilient for over 100 years. We are proud to support this beautiful display of vintage and historically significant RVs.”

Hall President Darryl Searer said, “Bob’s personal donation is evidence that his commitment to the Hall’s success goes beyond Thor Industries’ continuing support. In addition to this contribution Bob was a driving force in Thor’s decision earlier this year to contribute $25,000 and another $25,000 from the Thompson Family Foundation Inc., a charitable foundation created by Wade F.B. Thompson, Thor co-founder.”

The “Burn the Bank Note” campaign’s goal is to raise $150,000 in voluntary contributions by April 30, 2013. If that goal is reached the Robert “Boots” Ingram family has offered a $50,000 challenge grant, and that would pay off the Hall’s bank note to 1st Source Bank.
Searer said that the bank loan to 1st Source Bank has gone from $840,000 in early 2012 to only about $200,000 now.

Searer said, “Since the RV/MH Heritage Foundation is a 501-c3 not-for-profit corporation, all donations are tax deductible. Donors can use our federal ID#: verify that we are a 501-c3 not-for-profit corporation in good standing with the IRS.

“Gifts may be made by mail, in person at the Hall, by phone at (800) 378-8694, or through the Hall’s web site:”

Vintage travel trailers on display at RV & Mobile Home Hall of Fame & Museum in Elkhart, Indiana

RV & Mobile Home Hall of Fame & Museum

One possible strategy outlined in the business plan is selling the RV/MH Hall of Fame building and property and using the proceeds to retire debt and fund operations. The Foundation would then simply rent the property.

Another strategy calls for the Foundation to more aggressively market the Hall of Fame as an event center. “We will move the vintage units out of the Ingram hall to make that space completely available for event, increasing the number and size of events previously not possible, simply by re-prioritizing the use of the current facility,” the report states.

One controversial strategy, which has previously been floated, is accepting funding from Camping World in exchange for naming rights and property leases for a multi-acre RV parts and accessories retail store at the site. “Because this opportunity is controversial with a number of constituents it needs to be approached with a clear strategy,” the report notes.

Other strategies outlined in the report include appealing to the Ingram family, which holds much of the debt for the facility, to reduce the debt load and/or the terms of the loans; asking David Woodworth to reduce the amount owed him (approximately $750,000) for his vintage RV collection which is housed at the museum; and working with First Source Bank, which is owed $900,000, on obtaining more favorable lending terms.

The business plan also notes that salaries for RV/MH Hall of Fame staff members were cut last year and that the president’s position was eliminated, generating savings. Finally, the plan notes that, after the Foundation stabilizes its current situation, it intends to hire a new president that will help develop the professionalism of the Foundation’s operations and raise the awareness and appeal of the event center, museum and Hall of Fame.

To read the business plan in its entirety, click on the following link:

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