Monday, September 23, 2013
Elkhart County sits in far north Indiana with a population of around 50,000. Elkhart is still a manufacturing hub for recreational vehicles but was hit hard by the recession, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 15% in 2009.
In one of the most significant events in the county’s history, resident David Gundlach has left his estimated $150 million estate to the Elkhart County Community Foundation, which will almost quadruple its current assets. Gundlach declined to put any conditions on the gift so the Foundation can use the gift however it likes.
Gundlach grew up in Elkhart and moved back there shortly before dying of a heart attack at age 56. He made his fortune by starting his own car-insurance firm in the U.K., Hastings Direct, which he later sold for about $260 million.
See Brad Reagan, Giving: The Elkhart County Miracle, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 19, 2013.