The story of our newest mobile classroom


Mike VonDerhaar

Following a forty-year career in high tech sales, my wife Jill and I decided to buy an RV in order to see all of the places we have never seen in the US. We were very excited and immediately took our first trip. But we didn’t take another trip for nearly 6 months and then it was another 6 months before we took to the road again.

We quickly recognized that we simply bought an RV too soon. Both Jill and I have too many demanding projects to travel for months.

The timing was just not good for either of us, so I listed the RV for sale and then braced myself for the challenge ahead. I had a number of honest people interested in buying and had two different couples planning follow up visits, when I received an interesting phone call late on a Friday night from Jay Frantz.

He explained that he wanted a larger model RV to facilitate his need to modify it for a charitable organization in Cary. He was looking for a newer model with low mileage in exceptional condition.  Unfortunately, Jay said it would be a week or more before he could make the twelve hour round trip drive to Gainesville, Georgia to see my RV.

He asked me to visit the Read and Feed website and then launched into the significant benefits that the organization brings to the community. When I saw the website and the potential for my RV to participate in such an incredible cause, I was determined to give Read and Feed the opportunity to see the RV before the other prospects returned the following week.

My first thought was. . . I own a plane. I’m a pilot (not current but my co-owner is), and I knew I could recruit him. I called Jay back and offered to fly him and another volunteer named Larry down to Gainesville and back on Sunday.

It took less than two hours to fly the Read and Feed team from Raleigh to Gainesville to look over my Bounder that I parked in front of our hangar. Jay was crawling under the RV with a checklist and flashlight, starting the engine and generator and thoroughly inspecting it.

Jill had sandwiches and chili for everyone for lunch, and we were able to have a business discussion and agree on a sale. After a nice lunch, we turned the plane around for the return flight.

“Jill and I are elated that the RV that we enjoyed so much is being used for a better and further reaching cause. We hope that it serves the organization for a long time and are confident that many young lives will be positively changed for a number of well deserving recipients of the Read & Feed cause.”