The financially beleaguered RV/MH Hall of Fame received a boost to its fundraising efforts Tuesday (Jan. 31) when telecommunications giant Frontier Communications Corp. presented the Elkhart, Ind.-based facility with a check for $10,000.
Frontier, based in Stamford, Conn., is a major provider of high-speed Internet, phone and, in conjunction with DISH Network, television programming packages to northern Indiana customers.
“We are very excited to make a contribution to the museum so we can keep the heritage of the RV industry alive and well,” said Frontier Chairman and CEO Maggie Wilderotter as she presented the check Tuesday at the Hall of Fame on the northeast side of Elkhart to Tom McNulty, executive director and president of the combined museum, library and conference center.
“When we think about supporting our communities from a Frontier Communications perspective, we think broadly across what’s important in the communities that we serve,” she added. “And we all know that in Elkhart, it’s really important to support the RV community here — and the museum represents the history of RVs, and where RVs are headed. We wanted to make sure that this was a museum that stayed healthy. Providing them with funding to keep the museum going, we thought, was very important to the community.”
According to McNulty, the donation will add to efforts by the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc. to maintain the financially strapped center.
“I’m really excited,” he said to the assembled media. “2011 was very good and strong for us. Our cash flow position is better than it has been for two years. And, going into 2012, we have more bookings for the conference center, so we’re going to be in fairly good shape. The only thing we have to do is address the debt, and we’re getting there.”
The HOF owes approximately $4.75 million to three sources: First Source Bank, historian David Woodworth and the family of deceased Hall benefactor Boots Ingram. Of the three, the largest obligation is to the Ingram family, consisting of an interest-bearing loan of $1.1 million to secure Woodworth’s collection and an interest-free, five-year $2 million loan for construction costs to house the vehicles.
Meanwhile, McNulty on Tuesday said he foresees a resolution to the facility’s financial quandary. “I’ve had several conferences with Tony Ingram,” said McNulty, “and he’s much more receptive to working with us and making certain that the museum continues.”