The fund was established in 1982 to honor our deceased Grand Lodge Sponsor, PGER William J. Jernick. Its purpose is to assist special needs children in our communities who are under the age of 21. Monies raised are held in a trust fund modeled after the Elks National Foundation in that only the interest earned on the funds investments are available for distribution. The principle is never touched. We re-invest in the youth of our communities.
The funds are managed by a Board of Directors which is comprised of Past State Presidents of the MD, DE and DC Elks Association. Based upon the performance of the portfolio, each year the Board determines the total dollar amounts available for distribution. The legacy of assistance over the past 40 years is remarkable.
Every dollar contributed to the Fund is invested to earn interest and dividends to fund future grants. Unlike many charitable entities, there is no administrative overhead, no paid or compensated employees, no expenses but those associated with helping those in need.
The assistance provided by the Jernick Fund means so much to families struggling with the staggering cost of providing medical treatment and equipment to a beloved child with special health needs that are often not covered by insurance such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, eyeglasses, etc. Deserving families submit an application which is forwarded to the Board of Directors. In turn, the Board allocates the grant based on need with special consideration given to those lacking insurance or other means to help themselves financially.