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Scott Ellis 5:15 a.m., Aug. 5
La Jolla-based developer Doug Manchester, who has made millions of dollars on leases of public tidelands and is soon set to close on ownership of the Union-Tribune, often highlights his gifts to charity.
According to the curriculum vitae on his website, Manchester has been responsible for the Manchester Executive Conference Center, Manchester Child Development Center, and Manchester Village and Athletic Fields, all at the University of San Diego; the Manchester Athletic Facility, Manchester Hall at Callaway School of Business, and Manchester Plaza, all at Wake Forest University, NC; and Manchester Hall, San Diego State University.
But during the year-long period from April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010 , according to a financial disclosure report filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Feburary 18 of this year, the Manchester Family Life Foundation, a non-profit organization, made no grants, although it collected more than $1 million in contributions.
Manchester is president and chairman of the foundation's board, the document says. Richard Gibbons, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of the Manchester Financial Group, is the non-profit's chief financial officer. In previous years, Manchester's estranged wife Elizabeth was listed as vice president, but her name does not appear on the most recent filing.
During the period from April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010, the tax-exempt foundation collected a total of $1,017,941 in contributions.
The non-profit paid out just $3230 for operating expenses, leaving it with total assets of $1,399,713 at the end of the reporting period.
On the revenue side, the Manchester Financial Group was responsible for the bulk of contributions, giving $883,941.
Eleven individuals also contibuted. Of those, the largest donor was Gerald O'Shaughnessy, a wealthy oilman from Wichita, Kansas, who gave $33,000.
Next were La Jolla investment advisor Scott Rogers and investment manager Kenneth McCain, with $15,000 each, and San Diego cardiologist Charles Athill with $10,600.
"He's a friend. I've known the familiy for 25 years. Our kids played baseball together," McCain said of Manchester in a telephone interview this morning.
"He's been very, very helpful over the years to many organizations in the community...He tries to be good."
McCain, who says he's been a donor to Manchester's foundation for many years, along with others among Manchester's wealthy friends, added that while he has no direct information regarding timing and distribution of the non-profit's contributions, he is certain that the money is going to worthy causes.
Another Manchester backer points out that the annual IRS report provides only a one-year "snapshot" of the foundation's activities, and that it may have disbursed funds since the close of its reporting period in March of last year.
Other donors to charity included Robert Skoldberg and Ronald Johnson; each gave $10,000.
Robert Hallock of Rancho Santa Fe gave $8500.
Four donors gave $5,000 each: Darien Davenport of Sarasota, Florida; Edward Foley of Bend, Oregon; Francis Harding of Carlsbad, California; and Pat Howard of La Quinta.
During the previous 12-month period, from April 2008 through March 2009, the foundation raised just $3000 in contributions and grants, and ended the year with assets of $379,371, according to that year's report, received by the IRS on January 25, 2010.
Its single grant that year was $300,000, made to La Jolla's private Bishop's School, a highend prep academy, for "funding for advancement programs," the filing says.
According to the Bishop's School website, the school is conducting a fundraising campaign for the 21,000 square foot Manchester Library and Learning Center.
We have a call in to Manchester's Gibbons for further details.