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Businessman’s gift to Goshen at $150 million

– A multimillion-dollar gift from a businessman’s estate to a charitable foundation in his northern Indiana hometown is even larger than first thought, the organization’s president said.

The David Gundlach gift is now valued at $150 million after the sale of some real estate, Elkhart County Community Foundation President Pete McCown said. That’s up from the $125 million estimate given when the legacy was announced in August.

McCown told a gathering Tuesday at Goshen College that he has received hundreds of messages “from people not asking for resources, but in a very positive way” offering suggestions for priorities for the money, the Elkhart Truth reported.

Gundlach grew up in Elkhart, graduating from Elkhart Memorial High School in 1973, and made his fortune in insurance, including founding the English company Hastings Direct.

He died last fall in California at age 56.

Gundlach’s gift more than triples the charitable foundation’s holdings and its 21-member volunteer board expects to be able to distribute $7.5 million a year in the county that struggled with a double-digit unemployment rate after the recreational vehicle industry collapsed during the recession.

“We have been thinking carefully about how we can be the stewards of this man’s gift,” McCown said.