ELKHART — The leadership at the RV/MH Hall of Fame is ready to reach for the lighter.
In the final day of the “burn the bank note” push to raise $150,000 by April 30, the hall was still $20,000 shy of what it needed to get a $50,000 matching grant from the Ingram family.
With 12 hours left to go, one unidentified donor stepped forward with $5,000, and another came up with a donation of $15,000, according to Darryl Searer, president of the hall.
”On behalf of the hall’s board of directors, I would like to thank all of those who contributed and helped us achieve this success. I continue to be amazed by the generosity of those who believe in the hall’s mission and continue to open their hearts and pocketbooks. We cannot thank them enough,” Searer said in the written announcement of the successful fundraiser.
At the top of the list of generous donors is the family of Robert “Boots” Ingram, who have postponed some debts and offered matching grants to retire other debts, bringing the hall back from the brink of financial ruin and shutdown a little more than two years ago.
Between the $150,000 in matching grants from the Ingram family and the money donated by others, the hall will be ready to burn the note for their loan from 1st Source Bank, a loan that stood at $840,000 in early 2012.
The city of Elkhart forgave roughly $115,000 in fees owed by the hall, which also helped reduce the stress on the museum, hall of fame and events center near C.R. 17 and the Indiana Toll Road.
Wednesday morning, May 1, Searer said, “I spoke with Tony Ingram last night with the good news and was assured that the $50,000 check is in the mail and we’ll be able to pay off the bank loan soon. As soon as the Ingrams’ check arrives, the bank loan will be retired with a blazing ‘burn the bank note’ ceremony.”