Donation or Loan?
In the situation put forth in the column, father Bill Christian and son Dave Christian uniquely won Olympic Gold Medals in ice hockey, one in Squaw Valley in 1960 and the other in Lake Placid in 1980. Following Dave’s “Miracle on Ice,” the Hockey Hall of Fame asked for and received the hockey sweaters of each from Bill. They provided Bill with a letter thanking him for the donation.
Now, all of us in the industry know what a donation means, but do we make sure the donors do? As quoted in the column, Craig Muder at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum makes clear the circumstances by asking the donor/loanee to sign a gift/donation form. Perhaps in 1981 we had not evolved to the formal and legal stage, but it certainly is necessary today.
The column raises some interesting questions regarding the hockey sweaters, the donation, and today’s controversy. It’s a circumstance that could lead to a bad relationship and, perhaps, that may consume time and money from both sides. Consequently, it is incumbent upon each Hall of Fame to make sure for both parties that the agreement regarding any artifact is clear, that the transfer is documented and signed by both parties, and that the opportunity for misunderstanding is minimalized.
Are you doing that?
Jack Huckel, Founder & Principal of J.R. Huckel & Associates, offers election and induction consulting services to Halls of Fame. Jack served the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum as Director of Museum and Archives for 9-1/2 years after more than 10 years as a volunteer. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518/852-3033.
Jack is a member of the International Sports Heritage Association.