Merv and Dorothy Lung

Their gift: Real Estate

According to many in the Elkhart area, Merv Lung is the epitome of Elkhart’s entrepreneurial spirit. In 1959, Merv’s former remodeling and salvage business grew into Patrick Industries, one of the city’s most successful companies. That success has enabled Merv and his wife Dorothy to “give back,” enabling thousands of others to share in their success.

Because no campus for higher education was present in Elkhart in the 1980s, Merv purchased a building, remodeled it and donated it to the Elkhart County Community Foundation for the establishment of Ivy Tech State College’s presence in the region. “If I tied my gift to the ECCF, I knew Ivy Tech’s presence here should be everlasting,” Merv says.

According to their agreement, the state of Indiana leases the facility from ECCF. The amount of sizable monthly rent is contributed back to the Ivy Tech Foundation that established the Lung Scholarship program. These scholarships significantly reduce tuition for county residents wanting to further their education at Ivy Tech in Elkhart.

Because the couple’s gift of real estate evolved into Lung scholarships that help ease the financial burden of so many students going to Ivy Tech, Merv can say, “Dorothy and I are proud of what we’ve been able to do. But without ECCF, this wouldn’t have been as successful. We’ve worked as a team.”

Like many others, Merv and Dorothy believe that if you’ve become successful in Elkhart County, you have an obligation to give back to the community. As Merv says, “If we don’t, who’s going to take care of the next generation… and the next?”

Catherine Wells-Bentz

Advantages of a gift of real estate (a home, undeveloped land or business property):

  • Charitable deduction based on appraised fair market value, not original investment
  •  No minimum required
  • No capital gains tax
  • Substantial tax savings
  • Reduces size of your estate