The Idaho Freemason Foundation is an independent charity, established by the Grand Lodge of Idaho to help kids and further the ideals of Masonry.
After several years of hard work and preparation by a number of Idaho Masons, the Foundation was incorporated in the State of Idaho in 2011. Its official title is the “Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Idaho Charitable Fund, Incorporated.” That’s quite a mouthful, so it does business as the Idaho Freemason Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is “to support the education, safety, and well being of children.”
It performs this duty by supporting the charitable activities of individual Lodges throughout the state, fulfilling the Fraternity’s belief and obligation in charity, and to shine the Light of Masonry on the people of Idaho.
The Chairman of the Foundation is Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Greg Winther. Greg is the former owner of Winther Music in Boise, and is a licensed real estate broker. In addition to his service to Freemasonry, he serves in the Idaho Realtors State Board of Directors, and has been recognized with the Code of Ethics Award by Boise Regional Realtors.
The Treasurer is Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Art Shoemaker. Art is a graduate of the University of Idaho, and worked as the State Conservation Engineer for the State of Utah, and later in the same capacity for the State of Idaho. He also served as Worthy Grand Patron of the Order of Eastern Star of Idaho in 2002.
Foundation Secretary Mark Smith is a retired Air Force Colonel, with numerous technical degrees. He is also a Past Master of Meridian Lodge #47 and is currently the Secretary of Meridian Lodge.
Vice Chairman Dan Davis worked at the Idaho Transportation Department for 31 years, retiring as Highway Foreman. He is a Past Master of Ionic Lodge #82 in Cascade.
John Ransdell is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Academy and has worked in Municipal and Federal law enforcement. He worked at the School District and was the Union Chairman for Grievances. He was the first 'Operations Chief of the Emergency Communications Service‘ in San Bernardino County, California.
Jack Davis, has an extensive occupational background in activities as varied as craft and management construction, transportation, agriculture, and commercial fishing. He has extensive experience in fund-raising and non-profit management, and is a Past Master of Washington Lodges and a member of Kaniksu Lodge #97 in Priest River.
The Idaho Freemason Foundation welcomes participation as directors, ambassadors and volunteers to further its work. The current board is heavily represented by Masons from southwestern Idaho, and members from other regions are invited to participate. Meetings are teleconferenced, so distance is no object. If you are interested, contact us for an application.
The Idaho Freemason Foundation raises funds by three principle means. Donations from the brethren or friends of the Fraternity are fully tax deductible. These donations may consist of cash, stocks, bonds or anything else of value.
The Foundation is a worthy recipient of a bequest. To support the Foundation in your will, consult your accountant or tax advisor for advice. The Chairman or Secretary may be able to answer any questions they may have. Larger foundations often subsidize other worthy causes. The Foundation actively seeks grants from these foundations for its activities.
How does the Foundation operate? Lodges are free to run their own charitable effort, or to choose one to support. They administer and operate their charity as they see fit. If their charity is in support of the education, safety or well-being of children, they qualify to apply for financial support. The application process is simple and easy. All we ask in return is pictures or videos of the event to use in publicity and in our own fundraising efforts, and an accounting of how the funds were used.
Kaniksu Lodge #97, Priest River, ID. Boots for Kids.