Skip to comments.Don Imus's Ranch For Sick Children Draws Scrutiny: Charity Spent $2.6 Million Last Year on 100 Kids
Posted on 03/24/2005 3:25:36 AM PST by billorites
Every weekday morning, listeners across the country tune in to radio host Don Imus to hear his trademark rants about politics, Hollywood, sports and Iraq.
Mr. Imus and his wife, Deirdre, opened the 4,000-acre ranch, nestled in the mesa country of northern New Mexico, in 1999 to help sick children. Its stated mission is to give "children with severe illnesses an opportunity to experience the life of an American cowboy."
The ranch has also burnished Mr. Imus's image. With his signature scowl, gruff voice, 10-gallon hats and tendency to refer to some public figures as "creeps," "thugs" and "fascists," Mr. Imus, 64 years old, has built a top-10 national radio show with 3.25 million listeners a week. It is also simulcast on MSNBC television. The ranch has helped shine a spotlight on his softer side, transforming Mr. Imus and his wife into two of the country's best-known philanthropists. They've donated more than $1 million to the ranch over the past four years and raised $20 million for its start-up and operations. Celebrity donors, including TV-news star Barbara Walters, former New York Stock Exchange Chief Richard Grasso and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, receive praise on Mr. Imus's show.
Yet the charity's large budget, and the Imus family's personal stays at the ranch, are drawing scrutiny from tax officials and regulators. The ranch's expenses totaled $2.6 million last year, while it hosted only about 100 kids -- an unusually high dollar-to-child ratio, charity experts say. The Imus family stays at the ranch all summer with the children, but they also visit for weeks at a time during holidays as well as dropping in for occasional weekends, Mr. Imus says...
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Thanks..... more data needed but I always figured that with this charity there was room for a lot of taxes to be saved and other finagling by Imus and company.
Samurai_Jack .. My thoughts exactly.. I have been a Imus supporter for years.. I used to be a regular in the MSNBC chat room. Then he did a 90 degree turn with his vitriol comments at everyone that disagrees with him. His name calling on the air was disgusting. Don and Diedra and Fred are doing wonderful things at the Imus Ranch,but his degrading of people he doesnt like is coming back to haunt him..Its sad.
Amen. Very little research money goes to younger, more innovative, researchers. Most is politically driven.
The concept of the Imus Ranch, as I understand it, is that the children are treated as individuals who are not defined by their illness. They follow a schedule that permits them to experience contributing to the running of the ranch, and this can be a life-changing experience. They can work. They aren't victims.
It is a real ranch and must be kept running all year, as authenticity is the basis of the ranch experience.
To suggest that the ranch exists for its founder's personal benefit, is absurd. b.
Actually, it's kind of obvious. He gets a wonderful vacation place. His trophy wife gets "meaning" in her life, without any heavy lifting (of a pen, to write her own book, even). Contrast the Imus ranch with the real charities cited in the article. It is easy to see the difference.
A vacation surrounded by children in various stages of an illness that eventually kills some of them is a "wonderful vacation?" Just the psychological stress of working with these children every day, while insuring that their medical needs are met, isn't something most people could handle.
I think a "trophy wife" is a young woman a successful, married , older man, dumps his longtime wife to marry in order to enhance his male, conqueror image.
Imus had been divorced for many years when he met his current wife. We don't know these people so we don't know if they "get meaning in [their lives] without heavy lifting." Actually, I can 't imagine judging the motives of people I do know when considering their charitable activities.
There is a difference between other charities and the Imus Ranch; they are offering a different concept of helping these children. It doesn't make the Ranch any less a "real" charity.
In the case, a "differnt concept" means skimming off most of what is "spent" per child to feather their own nest. That is fraudulent.
At least Imus is thinking of someone else besides himself. Way too many public figures put themselves before others at any cost. If there is a problem with the way finances are done, he can hire an accountant and fix the problem. His family are at least reaching out to others, a concept that is foreign to a lot of us on earth today.
"...skimming off most of what is 'spent' per child to feather their own nest. That is fraudulent."
If you are accusing Imus of skimming to feather his own nest, that is libelous.
Are YOU saying $30,000 per day is actually spent on the 10 kids present at any one time on the ranch?
Do you think the rest o fthe money does not go into making it fit to feature in Architecural Digest?
It walks like a duck. It quacks like a duck.
And I suggest you stop trying to intimidate people from coming to commonsense conclusions.
Stating that publicly accusing a person of criminal behavior is libelous, is not intimidation. It's a fact that we all should be aware of when using someone else's website to make accusations. It has nothing to do with whether or not our arguments make sense. I have attacked other posters, challenging their legitimacy, their relations with their mothers, the drug dependence of their children, and have been shut-down by Admin. Mods. whom I immediately charge with being Communist sleeper agents, IRA terrorists, and contributing members of Nambla. Fortunately for me, they refuse to be intimidated.
Bingo, tax shelter.
Check out this photo spread of Imus's house at the ranch. It's 14,000 s.f.
Architectural Digest review of the ranch here:
Interesting background on the Ranch and mogul ranches in general here:
So how about responding to the material issues:
Is it plausible the Imus Ranch spends $3000 per child per day in operating expenses that can be in some way related to that child's stay at the Imus Ranch?
Or is it much more plausible that Archiectural Digest depicts a very well feathered nest and that most of those "operating expenses" go into keeping that part of the ranch in tip-top shape and sticked with the latest in Southwest art and furniture?
I just read the WSJ and the article is not that bad. Imus has gone balistic over nothing. They are just questioning and the worst thing he might expect is a fine or something if they think he owes more taxes.
He does have a point in that he and his wife run the place without pay in the summer.
Imus has a thin skin for a public figure.
This has been a "wink and a nod" deal since day one and his big donors were scrambling to get in on it for the associated publicity.
I'm certain that the kids benefit. I'm equally certain that Imus and Diedre (whom I have met a couple of times) benefit more.
Why do you think that is?
BEats me, I think he wants to do a good thing and likes the ranch life.
Right now I can't work up indignation or much curiosity about Imus. At least he is helping someone and not starving someone.
He is doing good with the ranch but coincidently this ranch might offer all kinds of tax advantages. This makes his motivations cloudy. The tax advantages?
So freaking what? Charitable contributions are tax deductible. Ever wonder why? To encourage people to donate to charities, that's why. Home mortgage interest is tax deductible. Why? To encourage home ownership.
Bill Gates caught hell because he didn't donate enough. Now Imus' motivations are 'cloudy' because 'this ranch might offer all kinds of tax advantages.' Geez, since government is such an efficient money manager, maybe we ought to send them all of our freaking money. /s
For a one week experience.
I wonder what liability insurance costs to host a bunch of sick kids riding horses in mountain lion & rattlesnake country and swimming in the ranch swimming pool. I wonder how much the total cost of the payroll of the staff is. Like how much does it cost to hire a doctor and a registered nurse 24/7 for the summer? What the overhead of keeping horses on the ranch costs per year. How much the total transportation expense of 100 kids is, the annual heating bill and the total cost of maintaining ranch vehicles...
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