Thanks to several generous donations, the manufactured home on display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Ind., is now owned by the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc.
Foundation President Darryl Searer reported in a press release that the home was originally erected and donated by Fairmont Homes for a period of one year to show visitors 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 deadline approached, Jim Shea, president of Fairmont Homes, offered to let the foundation acquire the home for its wholesale 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 the company having the first right of refusal when a new manufactured home is placed on the site.
Jim Scoular, president of Jimsco, Sioux Falls, S.D., and a foundation board member, volunteered to contribute the remaining $32,140 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 to build a manufactured housing museum that 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 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 of 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.”