Ultra-Fab Products Donating to Hall ‘Challenge’

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Ultra-Fab President Craig Searer

Elkhart, Ind.-based Ultra-Fab Products Inc. has donated $2,500 to the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc.’s “Burn the Bank Note” Challenge campaign, the latest drive by the RV/MH Hall of Fame to pay off its bank loan to 1st Source Bank by April 30, 2013.

“We believe as responsible citizens of the RV industry and Elkhart area we have an obligation to support charitable causes which contribute the prestige of the industry and the community,” Ultra-Fab President Craig Searer said in a press release.” I cannot think of a more worthy cause than the RV/MH Hall of Fame. As suppliers of products to the RV and other industries, we have enjoyed much success, and this is our way of giving back to the industry that has been so good to us.”

The “Burn the Bank Note” challenge is a result of the Robert “Boots” Ingram family’s offer of a $50,000 challenge grant for the purpose of paying off the Hall’s note to 1st Source Bank – provided friends of the Hall can raise $150,000 in voluntary contributions by April 30, 2013. At that time the bank note through normal payments will be down to $201,000.

This new challenge follows the recent “Ingram Family $100,000 Challenge,” where the Hall raised more that $171,000, and with the Ingram’s $100,000 grant was able to substantially lower its bank loan.

At the beginning of the $100,000 challenge, the bank balance was $828,000. That was reduced by the end of August to $283,113. This total of $544,887 was the sum of the $271,000 plus $273,887 that came from the regular payments plus additional cash flow from other pledges already in existence.

Searer challenged other companies and individuals that have enjoyed success in the RV and manufactured housing industries to follow Ultra-Fab’s example and contribute what they can afford to help the Hall meet this latest challenge.

Tax-deductible gifts may be made by mail, in person at the Hall, by phone at (800) 378-8694, or through the Hall’s web site:

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Ingrams Issuing New Challenge for Hall of Fame

September 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

RV/MH Hall of Fame

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, 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.

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Elkhart Mayor Defends Plan to Waive Hall Debt

September 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Dick Moore defended his plans to forgive a debt owed to the city by the RV/MH Hall of Fame Tuesday (Sept. 18) night at the outset of budget hearings with the city council.

Representatives of the Hall were recently given an offer by the mayor in which the city would waive the $115,000 the hall owes in fees dating back several years if the hall begins making regular monthly payments as part of its compact agreement for sewer service.

The Hall quit making payments in 2009, claiming its not-for-profit status should exempt it from paying.

To read the entire article click here.

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Elkhart Negotiating With RV Hall on Utility Bills

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Though the RV/MH Hall of Fame’s finances have drastically improved, they’re still a long way from being out of debt and the city of Elkhart, Ind., has tentatively agreed to ease the hall’s sewage bills and forgive unpaid bills.

According to a report in the Elkhart Truth,  Mayor Dick Moore said he views waiving the unpaid $115,000 debt as a contribution to the RV industry.

“We believe it’s justified. We’re doing it for the RV industry,” Moore said. “We just need to reach some kind of agreement and get them paying again.”

Darryl Searer, president of the Hall of Fame, said he’s met with Moore twice and with other city officials since then. Like the others the Hall owes money, “They’ve all been extremely helpful and all want the Hall of Fame to succeed. I’ve really been tickled that they’ve come forward and supported the hall of fame,” Searer said.

To read the entire article click here.


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RV Hall Expands Marketing as Venue for Events

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV/MH Hall of Fame is moving forward not only with its debt reduction but in other ways, too.

That includes the recent naming of the banquet events hall, the Northern Indiana Events Center, with signage in the offing, according to a report by the South Bend Tribune. The hall is located at the south entrance of the facility.

“There was some confusion as to where to enter the event center when organizations and groups rented the facilities for shows, group meetings and events such as company parties, etc.,” said Darryl Searer, president of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc., which oversees the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart.. To him, saying a wedding reception was at the hall did not look right either. And so the change was made.

According to the hall’s website, the event center can accommodate groups as small as 10 in private rooms to a sit-down banquet for up to 1,000 guests in Ingram Hall to as many as 2,100 in theater-style seating.

The hall hired Stacey Walworth, who has experience working with nonprofit facilities, as event sales/marketing manager for the event center.

It recently held the Midwest RV Super Show on the grounds and the Bridal Expo at the facility, both for the first time.

Upcoming events include the housing the Thor Industries Inc. display for the second straight year during this week’s RV Open House, and the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce Biz-Ness Expo, which has been there for several years.

“We just had our best August ever,” Searer said.

“The event center is an important segment to our mission and our financial stability.”

It also sends a signal to the community.

“The Hall of Fame is living up to its potential as the town square for the RV industry,” said Laura Coyne, Elkhart County redevelopment coordinator. “The Thor open house alone is a sign of recovery of the facility’s promise, and of the industry, in just one year. It’s nice to see its home base full of life and activity.”

Thus far, the hall has averaged about 100 visitors a day since mid-May, in what is considered the travel season. That includes a high of more than 500 on the Saturday in August of the Midwest RV Super Show, which offered a ticket that included both the hall and the show.

More activity is planned.

“We are going to get more aggressive to get people in the events center,” Searer said. “We have a very bright future.”


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Hall Renames South Entrance as ‘Event Center’

August 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hall of Fame's south entrance

The RV/MH Heritage Foundation is now doing business as the Northern Indiana Event Center as well as the RV/MH Hall of Fame, according to Darryl Searer, the Foundation’s president. According to a press release, the foundation will also be naming the south entrance of the Elkhart, Ind., facility as the Northern Indiana Event Center.

Searer explained, “There was some confusion as where to enter the event center when organizations and groups rented the facilities for shows, group meetings and events such as company parties, etc.”

Searer also announced that the foundation has hired Stacey Walworth as event sales/marketing manager for the Event Center. Her primary role will be to identify potential customers for the event center and to solicit their business.

Walworth, who graduated with a bachelor’s in 2008 from Grand Valley State University, brings to the foundation “distinctive credentials in event planning and management for non-profit organizations.” Prior to moving to Elkhart, her most recent position was marketing and development associate and event planner for the Grand Rapids Ballet Company, Grand Rapids, Mich. Walworth assumes her new position on Sept. 10.

Stacey Walworth

“We are delighted that Stacey is joining our staff,” Searer said. “Her experience in event sales/marketing and planning is a perfect fit to augment our existing staff. And her employment could not have been better timed.

“With the reduction of available event space in the Michiana area where many area events were hosted, our opportunity for new business has dramatically increased and will give Stacey a fertile field to cultivate and bring more events to our facility.”

The Event Center is versatile and can accommodate groups as small as 10 or 15 in private rooms to as many as 2,100 in theater-style seating or a sit-down banquet for up to 1,000 guests in Ingram Hall.

“Our elegant surroundings always seem to impress prospects,” Searer said. ” The Floyd & Mary Irene Younkin Theatre which seats 75 is ideal for training seminars, movies and projection presentations, and the show grounds east of the complex provides facilities designed for events such as public RV, boat and car shows, to name a few.

“The Event Center is an important segment to our mission and our financial stability. We believe the addition of Stacey Walworth and the naming of the south entrance as the Northern Indiana Event Center are major steps forward in our goal of making the complex the premier location for events in northern Indiana and southern Michigan.”



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Hesselbart to Keynote During Beijing RV Show

August 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Al Hesselbart

Al Hesselbart, RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum historian, curator and librarian, has been invited to be one of the keynote speakers at the 1st National China RV Show.

According to a press release, the event will be held at the Xiedao Resort in Beijing from Sept. 12-16.

The show is sponsored by the FICC Asia-Pacific Commission, the China Tourism Automobile and Cruise Association and the China Tourist Attractions Association.

According to Hesselbart, he was contacted by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) General Counsel Craig Kirby in June and asked whether or not he would consider being a guest speaker at a large RV show in Beijing. Several Chinese business people who are sponsoring the event had contacted RVIA about providing a speaker on the evolution of the RV industry in the United States.

“When I accepted, I was contacted by Ed Han, director of the RVIA Asia Project, who put me in contact with the show staff in China,” Hesselbart said.

Hesselbart intends to present an illustrated lecture on the evolution of the U.S. RV industry through its first 100 years. “I hope to amaze, educate and entertain the Chinese audience on the rich and varied history of industry products,” he noted.

Besides his duties at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Hesselbart is a frequent speaker at RV rallies and events across the United States. This trip to China will not be his first. In 2010 he was one of four U.S. representatives who participated in the 3rd Annual Hangzhou China Outdoor Lifestyle Show in support of the growing Chinese RV industry.

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Board Members Elected to RV/MH Hall of Fame

August 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Barry Cole, president of Manufactured Housing Insurance Services, Orange, Calif., has been elected chairman of the RV/MH Hall of Fame board. According to a press release, Cole replaces Bill Garpow, whose term has expired. He will remain on the board as immediate past chairman.

When asked to serve as chairman, Cole was hesitant, but said he would only accept the position if Darryl Searer, president of Hall, agreed to stay on. With that assurance Cole said, “I am honored and humbled by this opportunity and will dedicate myself to keeping the Hall moving forward in its quest for financial independence and enhance the features and facilities at the Hall and Event Center.”

Cole will lead the Hall for the next two years.

In other action, the board elected Jay Hesse, president of Blue Ox, Pender, Neb., as vice chairman. New board members elected include B.J. Thompson, BJ Thompson Associates, Osceola, Ind.; Ron Younkin, Greenlawn Cos., Columbus, Ohio; Sherman Goldenberg, RVBusiness magazine, Elkhart, Ind.; Raymond Pagett, Keystone/NTP Distribution, Atlanta, Ga.; and Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries Inc., Phoenix, Ariz.

There are two vacant positions on the board pending.

The remainder of the board of directors whose terms had not expired includes:

* Ross Kinzler, secretary, Wisconsin Housing Alliance, Madison.

* Jerry Pickrell, treasurer, retired from LaSalle-Bristol Corp.

* Bob Fields, Aridian Technology Co., Nahant , Mass.

* Jim Scoular, Jimsco, Sioux Falls, S.D.

* Gary LaBella, retired, former RVIA vice president of public relations and chief marketing officer.

* Darrell Boyd, Triad Financial, Paducah, Ky.

* Ron Wheeler, Wheeler Advertising, Arlington, Texas.

* Chris Barrett, Bennett Transport, McDonough, Ga.

* John Evans, E & R Window Service, Redlands, Calif.

* Crosby Forrest, Dixie RV Supercenter, Newport News, Va.

* Leo Poggione, Craftsman Homes, Inc., Reno, Nevada.

* Bob Livingston, Good Sam Club, Ventura, Calif.

* Bill Garpow, Past Chairman, retired RPTIA executive director

Searer noted, “I think we have a strong board of directors who are passionate about and dedicated to the success of the Hall. I look forward to working with them as we face the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

The new board took office Aug. 8.

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Web-Based American RVer Profiles RV/MH Hall

August 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., will be featured on this month’s, an Internet-based TV show.

According to a press release, creators Jim and Peggy Grich toured the Hall of Fame with historian Al Hasselbart. Viewers will see vintage and one-of-a-kind RVs including a 1915 Model T style RV, a converted 1976 Cadillac and a 1931 Chevrolet House Car given to Mae West for her Hollywood film shoots. Hasslebart offers background and historical perspectives during the segment on many of the museum’s displayed vehicles.

In addition, this month’s “Tech Tip” shows viewers how to care for their house and chassis batteries for a trouble-free service life.

This webisode is available to view anytime during the month of August for free at Previous shows are also archived and available for downloading.


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Bowersox Hopes Hall is RV Show’s New Home

July 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an Elkhart Truth story previewing the upcoming Midwest RV Show, which has moved for the first time to the RV/MH Hall of Fame. The paper reported that currently six dealers are signed on for the Aug. 9-12 event. To read the entire article click here.

The future meets the past next month when the RV/MH Hall of Fame hosts the Midwest RV Super Show. According to a report by the Elkhart Truth, the three-day show begins Aug. 9 and organizers hope they’ve found a permanent home at the hall.

Like the industry itself, the show is still in the rebuilding mode after a dreadful recession that hit Elkhart especially hard. Three years ago, the show took a hiatus. During the past two years, it was held in downtown Elkhart. Now, organizers look forward to capitalize on the hall’s proximity to the Indiana Toll Road.

During the past two years, attendance has been between 2,500 and 4,000 people.

“That location might be a little more visible, so we’re hoping to beat those numbers,” said Mark Bowersox, the show’s director who works for the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association and Recreational Vehicle Indiana Council. “It should grow to be a destination event again.”


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Hall Reaches Fundraising Goal a Month Early

July 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

RV/MH Hall President Darryl Searer (L) accepts a check from Thor President and COO Bob Martin

The RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum announced today (July 26) that it had reached its fundraising goal to match the Ingram Family’s $100,000 challenge grant — a full month prior to the Aug. 31 deadline.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of all those individuals and companies who contributed and helped us achieve this success. Contributions snowballed over the last month, putting us over the top,” stated Darryl Searer, president of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc.’s RV/MH Hall of Fame, in a press release.

Two weeks ago, the Hall announced that it was still nearly $10,000 shy of reaching the $100,000 goal. That’s when Jim Hammill, president of Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc., a Kitchener, Ontario-based Class B motorhome manufacturer, called the RV/MH Hall of Fame and said he believed it was time the Canadian RV industry “stepped up and showed its support for the Hall of Fame.” Roadtrek contributed $10,000 to make up the shortfall.

In the meantime long-time Hall of Fame supporters Derald Bontrager and Wilber Bontrager, president and CEO, respectively, of Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc., each personally donated $5,000, bringing the total to 110% of the goal.

This week, Thor President and COO Bob Martin visited the Hall bringing two $25,000 checks. Martin emphasized that both the Thompson Family Foundation donation and the matching Thor contribution are in memory of Wade F.B. Thompson, co-founder and former chairman, president and CEO of the Jackson Center, Ohio, RV manufacturer. Thompson passed away in November of 2009.

“Thor definitely sees the importance of the Hall of Fame,” says Martin, “and Thor was one of the large initial donors to the Hall of Fame. And for our industry – and for our community – we want to see the Hall of Fame survive and thrive. And after meeting with Darryl Searer, the new president of the Hall, (current Thor Chairman and CEO) Peter Orthwein and I contacted the foundation and talked with them and decided to make this gift as a match in memory of Wade Thompson, the founder of Thor Industries.”

The timing of this donation comes at a time when the Hall’s prospects seem to be improving, agrees Martin. “Yes, it does. The Hall of Fame seems to be gaining their financial stability, and there are many in the community who are stepping up and helping the Hall of Fame. And it definitely sounds like they have a very good plan in place that many people are willing to buy in to.”

In May, Tony Ingram, representing the Boots and Betty Ingram family, offered $100,000 in the form of a challenge grant for the purpose of lowering the Hall’s bank loan at 1st Source Bank if the Hall could match the grant through contributions from friends of the Hall prior to Sept. 1.

Searer pointed out that he expects the total to rise even higher once the results of the NTP Brick Program promotion is complete. Wilsonville, Ore.-based NTP Distribution Corp. has offered to buy a brick in the RV/MH Walk of Fame honoring all customers who meet a minimum purchase level. The Ingram family had previously agreed to count contributions to the Brick Program as part of the matching donations.

“The success of this fundraiser is a bold statement that people and companies in the RV/MH industries want the hall to succeed and prosper. I cannot thank all of those who contributed enough for their generosity,” Searer said. “It is truly a time for celebration and our celebration continues through the 2012 RV/MH Hall of Fame induction dinner and golf tournament on Aug. 6.”

For those who would like to make reservations for the induction dinner and/or the golf classic visit Reservations can also be made by mail, phone or fax.




RV/MH Hall President Daryll Searer (L) accepts a check from Thor President and COO Bob Martin

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57th Midwest RV Show Heads to Hall of Fame

July 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Midwest RV Super Show will be operating in a new venue, as the Aug. 9-12 show sets up for its 57th edition at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.

According to a press release, the event has been held in downtown Elkhart for the last two years. Organizers said the RV industry has recovered enough to required a larger facility for Elkhart’s “premier retail show.”

“This year’s event has nearly doubled in terms of reserved dealer space” said show director Mark Bowersox. “That means we’ll have about double amount of products we had last year.”

The Hall of Fame offers a convenient location for area residents and easy access to the show for travelers. It also offers something no other show facility in the country can duplicate – an amazing array of antique recreational vehicles.

Show organizers are taking advantage of that by offering a combo ticket that includes admission to the show and admission to the RV museum for one low price. Admission to the show is $6 for adults and normal admission to the museum is $9 for adults, but when purchased together attendees can view both displays for just $10.

“It’s the only place you can see the latest RVs along with some of the earliest,” said Bowersox. “With hundreds of brand new RVs on display outside and dozens of vintage RVs on display inside this event appeals to every RV enthusiast.”

After a one-year hiatus, the Midwest RV Super Show opened in downtown Elkhart in 2010 with the support of the City of Elkhart – a fact that isn’t lost on Bowersox.

“The city stepped up and supported the industry and this event when we needed it,” he said. “Without that support we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Visit for complete information.

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Elkhart Donors Boost Hall of Fame’s Fund Drive

July 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Darryl Searer

Contributions from two Elkhart, Ind., businessmen totaling $15,000 today (July 6) have pushed the RV/MH Hall of Fame closer to its goal of raising $100,000 by the end of August for the “Ingram Family’s Matching Challenge,” reports Darryl Searer, president of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc.’s Hall of Fame.

One of the donations, for $10,000, was from former Beck Industries President Roy Beck, whose company manufactured frames for both the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing sectors. Beck contributed another $2,000 toward the Hall’s upcoming golf outing and induction dinner.

The other, for $5,000, came from ex-Thor Industries Inc. executive Bill Fenech.

In the big picture, the Hall, located off the Indiana Toll Road on the north side of the RV-building center of Elkhart, apparently continues to gain support and and dig itself out of a financial hole that once threatened the future of the unique industry shrine housing rental facilities, meeting rooms, a library, the Hall itself and a museum full of vintage units.

“This puts us at just about $80,000 with approximately $20,000 to go until the end of August,” Searer told RVBUSINESS.COM, adding that a hundred percent of the tax-deductible challenge contributions goes toward paying down the Hall’s loan at 1st Source Bank.

Searer says the fund drive got yet another boost recently from Keystone Automotive Products, the new parent of NTP Distribution Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., which is supporting the Hall of Fame in a month-long promotion through its RV and auto parts and accessories dealers. On behalf of dealers purchasing a certain amount of product, Keystone is purchasing bricks in the Hall’s “Walk of Fame” Brick Program with dealers’ names engraved on them.

More “bricks” were sold in June than in all of last year, adds Searer, chairman of Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Ultra-Fab Products Inc.

Meanwhile, ticket sales for the Aug. 6 induction dinner are on track and a crowd of between 400 and 500 is expected. “A lot of people have made $100, $200 contributions,” said Searer. “I am amazed how many people have stepped up to that challenge. Had the Hall of Fame not survived, it would have given a black eye to the industry. People are starting to realize that and are giving back to an industry that has given them a pretty good livelihood.”

Contributions toward the Ingram family’s matching $100,000 challenge grant can be made through the Hall’s secure website,, or by mail, phone or fax. Checks or money orders are payable to the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Ingram Challenge RV/MH Hall of Fame, 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart IN 46514. Phone: (574) 293-1191.






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RV/MH Hall of Fame Updates Donations Status

July 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

RV/MH Hall of Fame

The RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum (Hall) announced that during June it received an additional $6,800 in donations toward its fundraiser goal to raise $100,000 in donations to meet the Ingram family’s $100,000 Challenge.

That brings the total gifts received since the program began on May 1 to $62,740, according to Darryl Searer, president of the Hall.

The June contributions include $2,750 in Brick Program donations. Earlier the RV/MH Hall of Fame announced that anyone purchasing a brick in the Hall’s “Walk of Fame” Brick Program fundraiser before Aug. 31, 2012, the tax deductible donation will also qualify as a donation toward the Ingram family’s $100,000 Challenge Grant.

Searer said, “While we are pleased that contributions reached 63% of our goal as we pass the halfway point in this fundraiser, our challenge remains to raise the additional $37,260 before the deadline on Aug. 31.

“Even though contributions ranging from $5 to $2,500 continue to come in, we will need an “angel” or two who will follow the example of Marcus Lemonis (chairman of Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC) and Don Wallace (co-founder of Lazydays RV Super Center) who each donated $25,000.

“We hope those who have enjoyed a good life from the fruits of the RV/MH Industries will step up to support the Hall by making a substantial contribution toward the Ingram family’s generous $100,000 challenge grant,” Searer stated.

One hundred percent of the challenge grant contributions will go toward paying down the Hall’s bank loan at 1st Source Bank and all gifts are tax deductible.

For those who would like to make a contribution toward the Ingram family’s $100,000 challenge grant, the Hall has made it easy to contribute. Contributions can be made through the Hall’s secure website,, or by mail, phone or fax. If paying by check or money order, make payable to the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Ingram Challenge RV/MH Hall of Fame, 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart IN 46514.

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Humphreys to Keynote at Hall Induction Dinner

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Dave Humphreys

David J. (Dave) Humphreys, former president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), will be the featured speaker at the 2012 RV/MH Hall of Fame induction dinner in Elkhart, Ind., on Aug. 6, according to Darryl Searer, president, RV/MH Heritage Foundation.

“We are honored to have Dave, who was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 1997, as our keynote speaker,” Searer said in a press release. “He not only helped guide the RV industry through its many ups and downs during the past 30 years, he ably represented our industry by participating in other segments such as the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and the Travel Industry Association (TIA). He was also a major architect of the successful GoRVing market expansion program.”

Humphreys served as president of the RVIA from January 1, 1979 until January 30, 2006, following 10 years of service as RVIA’s outside legal counsel. Since retiring from RVIA, Humphreys has been practicing law and acting as a consultant to various organizations including RVIA.

During his presidency, Humphreys was the leading spokesman for the RV industry. He has been active for many years with TIA, the umbrella organization for all segments of the travel and tourism industry. He has been a member of TIA’s board and was its national chairman from 1990 to 1991. In addition, he has served as a member of the voard of the American Highway Users Alliance (formerly Highway Users Federation). In 1981, he was awarded the RVIA’s National Legislative Award and again in 1997.

Festivities begin with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. followed by a gala dinner and induction ceremony. During the cocktail reception, attendees will be able to tour the Hall’s many attractions including the antique unit collection in the museum, library and the GoRVing Hall.

Those being inducted in the Class of 2012 include: Michael R. Evans, Centennial Homes; Doug Gorman, Home-Mart; Nelson and Mary Emily Jackson (deceased), Ocean Lakes Family RV Park; Edith Lane (deceased), Loaners on Wheels; Gerald Meuret, Housing Mart of Wausau; Bob Olsen, Winnebago Industries Inc.; Stanley Sunshine, Stag-Parkway Inc.; Ellwood A. Titcomb (deceased), Americorp; Perry Yoder (deceased), L&W Engineering; Mary Irene Younkin, Greenlawn Companies.

In addition to the induction ceremony, the Hall’s 2012 Golf Classic fundraiser will start at 7 a.m. with a full breakfast followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. This year, the golf classic will be hosted by The Bent Oak Golf Club in Elkhart and all participants will receive a free golf club.

To sign up online for both the induction dinner and golf tournament visit

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