|Crescent-Janko Masonic Foundation|
Brother Joseph D. Janko, a farmer, was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in Crescent Lodge No. 25, A.F. & A.M., on March 17, 1930. He died on November 26, 1951 at the age of seventy-six. Brother Janko had no immediate heirs; therefore he stipulated in his will that his estate should be placed in trust to care for his second wife, Emma, during her lifetime. Following her death the proceeds of the estate were to pass to Crescent Lodge No. 25, A.F. & A.M., to be used for the benefit of “needy children”.
Mrs. Janko died in 1998 at the age of ninety-seven and the residue of the estate was transferred to Crescent Lodge No. 25 in 1999. At that time the estate included a farmstead with approximately 160 acres of farm land in Johnson County just north of Swisher, IA, 80 acres of adjacent farm land in Linn County, several shares of Swisher Bank stock and some cash in CDs and a checking account. To comply with the provisions of Brother Janko’s will and also to acknowledge his gift to the lodge, Crescent Lodge No. 25, created the Crescent-Janko Masonic Foundation (Foundation), a separate 501c (3) Private Foundation in accordance with IRS guidelines.
The bylaws of the Foundation require the directors of the Foundation to be the current principal officers of the lodge, which are elected annually, plus three other members of Crescent Lodge No. 25 to be elected to serve staggered four-year terms. The Worshipful Master is to serve as president of the Foundation board. Income from the Foundation is to be distributed, as required by IRS rules, to other 501c (3) organizations with their major goal to provide assistance to children under the age of eighteen. Grants are not provided to individuals. Preference is also given to organizations located in Linn and Johnson Counties. The Foundation seeks organizations to assist and does not solicit grant applications.
During its first five years of existence the Foundation’s farm land was rented on a cash rent basis. The farm land was then appraised and sold. The assets are currently being managed by the trust department of Guaranty Bank & Trust, Cedar Rapids, IA. The directors distribute various amounts of funds on a quarterly basis. The Masonic Clothe-a-Child project created by Marion Lodge No. 6, A.F. & A.M., has been a major benefactor in recent years.