Iacocca solicits funds for museum

Feb. 19, 2010 at 11:53 AM
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DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Former Ford Motor Co. President and Chrysler Group Chief Executive Officer Lee Iacocca has gone to bat for a Michigan museum, the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Like having Cal Ripken Jr. solicit funds for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Iacocca, who was inducted into the Automobile Hall of Fame in 1994, has sent a letter to potential contributors to the museum, which has fallen on hard times, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

"For reasons that are obvious to all of us, the industry is unable to support the Hall of Fame to the extent that is has in past years," Iacocca wrote.

"Just as inconceivable as it would be for baseball to turn its back on Cooperstown, we, too, cannot desert the Automotive Hall of Fame in its time of need," Iacocca's letter said.

In past years, gifts of $100,000 a year from Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and Toyota helped kept the museum in the black. Last year, GM and Chrysler gave nothing, while Ford's gave less than it has in the past.

"The funding landscape has changed dramatically the past few years ... I believe one of the solutions is to broaden the net -- getting more donors giving less money each," said Hall of Fame President Jeff Leestma.

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