Darryl Searer, president of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, is progressing well after undergoing a successful emergency quadruple bypass surgery yesterday (Aug. 21) morning at the Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind.
“Over the past weekend Darryl suffered what he considered possibly symptoms of a heart attack and contacted his cardiologist,” said Hall Chairman Barry Cole in a press release. “An examination on Monday proved inconclusive so more extensive tests, including an exploratory heart procedure, were conducted on Tuesday. His doctor concluded that Searer, in fact, had suffered a mild heart attack and his condition serious enough that he should undergo immediate emergency quadruple bypass surgery.”
In addition to his duties at the Hall, Searer is also the semi-retired chairman of Ultra-Fab Products, Inc., an Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier of OEM and aftermarket RV products.
“He is blessed by catching this in time, and please join me in sending a prayer his way as he continues his recovery,” said Cole.
On the heels of a successful five-month $100,000 Challenge Grant from the Ingram family raising more than $170,000 through contributions for the RV/MH Hall of Fame, the Ingrams have issued another challenge.
According to a press release, Tony Ingram said the family is offering to donate an additional $50,000 in the form of another challenge grant if the Hall of Fame can raise $150,000 through voluntary donations by April 30, 2013.
The Ingrams’ first challenge contributed more than $270,000. This, along with other savings, helped the Hall reduce its bank loan from $828,000 down to $283,000. This new fundraiser is being dubbed, “Burn the Bank Note” challenge.
“With normal monthly payments our 1st Source Bank loan balance at the end of April 2013 will be down to $201,000,” said Hall of Fame President and CEO Darryl Searer. “If we are able to meet the Ingram family’s $50,000 challenge by raising $150,000, we will be able to retire that debt and burn the bank note.”
In January 2012, the future of the Hall was in doubt because of its financial burdens. Searer, who came on board as the Hall’s uncompensated president and CEO, believed that the Hall was too important to the RV and manufactured housing industries, and the Elkhart, Ind. area. Since that time through a series of discussions with debt holders and fundraisers, the Hall today is on solid financial ground and its future is bright.
“Our work isn’t done,” Searer added. “We still have some challenges but now we control our own destiny. We will be able to meet our obligations and can assure friends and skeptics alike that the Hall will survive for many years to come.”
He added, “The real heroes responsible for this turnaround are the hundreds of friends of the Hall who have opened their hearts and pocketbooks because they also believe the Hall is the shining star of the RV and MH industries. And near the top of the list of our heroes is the Ingram family that continues to show their support for the Hall. Their generosity in making this latest challenge should inspire everyone concerned about the long-range health of our wonderful facility to pitch in and help.”
Gifts may be made by mail, in person at the Hall, by phone at (800) 378-8694 or on the Hall’s web site, www.rvmhhalloffame.org. Since the foundation is 501c non-profit organization, all gifts are tax deductible.
To make a contribution by mail, send your gift by check or money order to: Burn the Bank Note Challenge, RV/MH Hall of Fame, 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN 46514.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum’s board has selected industry-veteran Darryl Searer as president and COO, according to a press release.
Searer, chairman of Elkhart, Ind.-based Ultra- Fab Products Inc. and Hall of Fame member (Class of 2008), is a former treasurer and hall board member.
“With more than 50 years experience in the industry and his years of devotion to the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Searer is an ideal candidate to bring the Hall of Fame out of its financial crisis and lead it into the future, said Hall of Fame Chairman Bill Garpow. “We were especially pleased that Searer agreed to accept the appointment on a non-compensated, voluntary basis.”
Searer started his career in the RV industry at the age of 16, working in his father’s business, Elkhart Rivet and Register. In addition to Ultra-Fab, he has been vice president of marketing and sales for the Dometic Corp. and president and owner of MHS Supply.
“Along with the Executive Committee, Darryl was the key architect of the agreement with the Ingram family and First Source Bank to give us a way to pay our debts and keep the Hall of Fame doors open,” said Garpow.
Searer noted, “I am pleased for the opportunity, as challenging as it is, because the Hall of Fame is too great an asset to the RV and manufactured housing industries to allow it to fade away.”
Searer praised the efforts of the Hall of Fame Executive Committee members which include Garpow, Tom McNulty, Barry Cole, Ross Kinzler, Jerry Pickrell, Gary LaBella, Mike Molino, Lon Larson and Jim Scoular.
“I also wish to thank the Ingram family members for carrying on Boots’ legacy, and Darran Teamor, First Source Bank, for his expertise and cooperation in restructuring the loans to insure the Hall’s success,” said Searer.