published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Last Chance Ranch runs out of chances
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
VENUS -- Last Chance Ranch did not get one last chance.
The Legislature cut its allowence and donations are not enough to finance operations. The ranch costs about $1 million a year to run, according to officials.
By Dec. 20, 2012 all remaining residents had been transferred and the last boy graduated from the program. The staff is in the process of shutting down the facility.
According to Sherri Ulleg, director of communications for AMIkids Inc, "for more than 30 years, the ranch-style program at AMIkids Last Chance Ranch offered a promising future to kids through positive and motivating programs that inspired learning, leadership and personal growth.
"With education, counseling and behavior modification, more than 750 young men were empowered to make positive decisions, allowing them the opportunity to transform their lives."
"The boys are all gone," said Darrell Jensen, one of two directors of the ranch's voluntary board, sounding tired.
He added, "AMIkids is thankful for the opportunity to work with such dedicated community partners in Glades and Highlands counties for more than three decades. Local companies like Lykes Bros. and Glades Electric were a tremendous part of our long-term success."
Jensen added the ranch had leased from Lykes Brothers for about 31 years, and the property's future use was up to the company.
"They have been very, very good to us," Jensen said. "We had them come in person to thank them. We're leaving the place in good shape."
Small Banner Ads