I just learned that the Alaska Masonic Foundation for Children (AMFC) was recently granted 501(c)3 charitable status from the Internal Revenue Service. This is a huge accomplishment and something that has been a long time coming. But what is AMFC and why is this event so important?
The AMFC was established in 2001 under the name the Alaska Masonic Charities Foundation by Most Worshipful Charles Corbin. This foundation was intended to be an umbrella organization providing support to various charities sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Alaska. The charities specifically supported by the foundation included:
> The Alaska Children's Welfare Organization presently known as The Dorothy Saxton Center for homeless and/or displaced children
> The present Alaska Grand Lodge Scholarship Fund to be renamed "The Ed Weiser Scholarship for the Arts fund"
> The Alaska Grand Lodge Educational Program for the prevention of Drug and Alcohol abuse by Children
The Dorothy Saxton Youth Shelter was operated by the non-profit Kids are People, Inc until being taken over by the Alaska Family Services (AFS) due to financial irregularities. AFS was established in 1979 as a 501(c)3 corporation to respond to the needs of women and children in the Mat-Su Borough of Alaska.
In 2008, the Grand Lodge of Alaska modified the mission of the Charities Foundation and changed its name to the Alaska Masonic Foundation for Children to more clearly define its role in supporting the needs of Alaska’s children. The charities specifically supported by the foundation now include:
> The Ed Weisser Scholarship for the Arts fund
> The Alaska Masonic Model Student Assistance Program for the prevention of Drug and Alcohol abuse by Children
Also, in 2008, the Grand Lodge of Alaska worked aggressively to secure 501(c)3 status for the AMFC.
This year I have established a special Scholarship Committee whose responsibilities are:
> To provide a clear definition of the Grand Lodge of Alaska’s Arts & Music Scholarship as proposed by RW Edward O. Weisser (PGM Grand Lodge Pennsylvania)
>To establish the applicant eligibility
> To establish award levels
> To establish a selection criteria for awarding scholarships
Pending the availability of funding, the committee is also asked:
> To promote the Scholarship to the target group of applicants
> To make an award(s) to coincide with the 2010 Annual Communication
Additionally, the Grand Lodge of Alaska has been working with National Masonic Foundation for Children to adopt the Masonic Model Student Assistance Program (MMSAP) as our program for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse by children. MMSAP serves our communities in the belief that prevention is the most effective tool for combating the scourge of addiction. Prevention stops use and abuse of drugs and alcohol before they take root.
Securing 501(c)3 status for AMFC is a big deal, because it allows the Grand Lodge of Alaska to begin soliciting funding to support these important community programs outside of our Masonic family. Although, there are many philanthropies sponsored and supported by the Masonic Fraternity, they are generally national in scope. The AMFC is our own Grand Lodge charity which provides direct support for the health and welfare of Alaska’s Children.
For more information about AMFC or to volunteer to help advance this worthwhile program, please e-mail the Grand Lodge of Alaska at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you may leave a comment to this post with your contact information, and I will get a hold of you directly.