The Go RVing Coalition has reconfirmed its pledge to the RV/MH Hall of Fame (HOF) in Elkhart, Ind., giving the financially strapped facility a new life.
The coalition has agreed to make its second quarter donation of $50,000, staving off, for now, the hall’s financial crisis, HOF officials told WOODALLSCM.com on Thursday (April 28).
A letter from coalition members Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), and Mike Molino, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), was received Wednesday, stating the coalition’s support for the HOF. It included a check for $50,000.
The letter states in part, “After reviewing the RV/MH Hall of Fame plan, dated April 4, the board of directors of Go RVing has agreed to make the $50,000 quarterly donation for the second quarter.”
HOF staff presented a detailed business plan to industry officials on April 4. The business plan was largely authored by B.J. Thompson, a Mishawaka, Ind., advertising agency executive and veteran chairman of the RVIA’s Public Relations Committee, and Gary LaBella, a new member of the Hall’s executive board who retired Jan. 1 as RVIA’s vice president of public relations and chief marketing officer. Click here to read an account of that plan.
The Go RVing Coalition letter goes on to say that Go RVing recognizes the Hall of Fame board has put considerable effort into developing a plan and if it proves viable it will enable the Hall of Fame to become financially sound in the future.
The letter also notes that the Go RVing board will need additional information on the hall’s finances prior to the hall receiving its final payment for the year.
In an earlier letter to the HOF, the Go RVing Coalition repeated its stand that it would curtail $200,000 in annual marketing payments to the Hall if a viable business plan wasn’t forthcoming.
HOF staff sponsored an industrywide “Summit Meeting” on March 15, setting forth its financial dilemma and asking for new support.
Tom McNulty, HOF executive vice president, said the Go RVing Coalition’s pledge would be used “for operational funds.” It will not go to repay its creditors.
“We’ve got to have money to run this place. It’s going to help give us an infusion, a breath of air, so we can continue to keep the doors open. We’re good to go. We’ll be open through the end of the year,” he said.
He said the good news should reassure countless groups in Northern Indiana who have booked the HOF for activities this year but were uncertain whether the hall would remain open.
Thompson, who called himself ” a volunteer consultant” for the HOF, said the Go RVing contribution constitutes a “tremendous boost.”
“By the Go RVing Coalition taking a look at the HOF’s situation and agreeing we have a viable plan, by them deciding they would continue their sponsorship for the balance of the fiscal year, what it has done has created a tremendous wave of confidence in the community and the industry,” Thompson said. “Already, I’ve had very encouraging interaction with a primary donor who had made their support contingent upon Go RVing support.
“The coalition has seen we are viable, we have a good plan. We’re still in very tough straits but for the balance of the year we’re good to go,” he added. “We’re in triage, we’re taking care of first things first. This has given us an opportunity to breath. We still have hurdles to overcome.”