Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

Jackson creates second music scholarship

By NICOLE HESTER-WILLIAMS Ledger staff writer | Nov 10, 2016
Jackson

The Greater Jefferson County Foundation announced Monday that it received a significant donation from Jefferson County resident and current donor John Jackson to establish a second instrumental music scholarship for graduating Fairfield High School seniors.

“I like music and did all my life; outside of playing myself, giving the scholarship is the next best thing I can do. I would like to see kids be musically minded — I made some money on the side during college, and it helped me out. I want to help the students out with their college education,” Jackson said. “I’m also helping students in Washington, Iowa; I have a couple of them going up there.”

Jackson, who owned the former Fairfield Feed Company, donated to the foundation several years ago, establishing a single music scholarship.

The John Jackson Instrumental Music Scholarship will provide a second scholarship to a student who plans to obtain further education in an instrumental music related field.

“For Mr. Jackson, he just wants to give back to the community,” said David Neff, a member of the foundation’s publicity committee. “He was so involved with the [34th Infantry Division] Red Bull Band. He traveled to Europe and played in Italy — he served in the European Theater during World War II. He was also involved with our locally based 34th Army National Guard Band for many years. Instrumental music has been significant part of his life, so he wanted to give back. He ran Fairfield Grain and Feed but music has been his passion, and he’s still with us at 102 years old!”

Neff said the donation qualifies for Endow Iowa Tax Credits, and that it was made in partnership with the Greater Jefferson County Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

According to a Greater Jefferson County Foundation press release, the funds will become a permanent endowment, providing an annual 5 percent distribution of the fund balance to the new scholarship. The Endow Iowa Tax Credit is a 25 percent state income tax credit, which encourages Iowans to endow their favorite Iowa-based charitable causes.

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines is a qualified community foundation that provides access to Endow Iowa Tax Credits.

Now, every year, two high school students will be awarded a one-time John Jackson Instrumental Music Scholarship.

“This will go on perpetually. As long as there is a Fairfield High School and a music department, it will be getting a scholarship,” Neff said.

In addition to music scholarships, Jackson donated to various other causes, such as the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center Endowment, the Carnegie Museum Foundation and he provided financial assistance for Washington’s renovation funds for the city’s central park bandstand.

Besides Jackson’s philanthropic deeds, Neff said the centenarian is still going strong.

“If the legs were willing, he would be out there marching on Veterans Day,” Neff said. “But he will be in a wheelchair, and a friend will drive him to the various events around town.”

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