In early 2012, nearly five years after opening, the RV/MH Hall of Fame was struggling financially and facing possible closure. But today, after two years under the leadership of volunteer president and treasurer Darryl Searer, the hall’s financial health is “excellent,” Searer said.

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, the nonprofit’s debt has been reduced from $5.5 million to about $2.5 million, and the hall made its May 2014 loan payment in November, six months ahead of schedule. Searer attributed the turnaround to a series of belt-tightening measures, reorganization and rebranding of the facility’s event center, renegotiation of financial obligations with major creditors and some innovative fundraisers.

“We have exceeded the goals and expectations of all of the creditors of the Hall of Fame,” Searer said.

Searer, who in March 2012 agreed to lead the hall for two years, has decided to stay on another two years as he tries to make the hall debt-free by 2020, if not sooner.

To achieve that goal, he pointed to two outstanding obligations: paying off a $550,000 bank loan used to complete the purchase of the David Woodworth Antique RV Collection, and a $3 million loan by the “Boots” Ingram family.

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