In all fairness, it takes some guts to walk around the conservative Northern Indiana community of Elkhart in a kilt, making personal appearances at restaurants, health clubs and driving ranges in this uniquely Scottish garb.
“Yeah, that’s what some people say, but if you believe in what you’re doing, it doesn’t make any difference,” insists Gregg Fore, the outspoken president of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp., who was persuaded by a Mishawaka publisher to participate in this year’s “Men in Kilts” fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana, which oversees “Family Room” operations at nearby South Bend Memorial Childrens Hospital.
Fore, immediate past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), is actually one of 10 area men who have agreed to serve as fundraising leaders this year by doing personal appearances around northern Indiana’s Elkhart and St. Joseph counties as part of the five-year-old “Men in Kilts” program. Fore told RVBUSINESS.com that the 10 participants will compete to become the top fundraiser with a cutoff date of Oct. 24.
To do so, Fore has enlisted his campaign “staff,” comprised of Larry Lebryk, Dicor’s director of marketing, Tina Sharkey, sales manager for United Shade, and friend Becci Zook. Initially, the team spent time learning about South Bend’s Ronald McDonald facility, which operates year-round on a 12/7 basis with two paid staff members, 120 volunteers and an annual budget of $350,000. Of that total, Fore reports, $30,000 comes from the McDonalds Corp. while $100,000 is derived from coin collector devices located in McDonald’s restaurants and the rest from assorted donations.
South Bend’s facility provides day rooms, a full kitchen, computer hookups, laundry and three overnight rooms for families whose dependent children are seeking medical care at Memorial.
“They serve an average of 25 families per day,” says Fore, who plans to personally match the largest singular donation (currently $2,500) and might be seen next Monday (July 1) at local fire and law enforcement facilities. “And they have a hot meal every night for whoever is there. So, they raised $112,000 last year in the ‘Men in Kilts’ fundraiser, and the lead guy did about $22,000. And my intention is to go over $30,000.”