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Masons starting farmers market

first_imgTo make sure its doors stay open following the alleged embezzlement of nearly $800,000, the Vancouver Masonic Center is starting up a farmers market. “It’s pretty serious what we’re up against,” said Jimmy Johnson, who is helping organize the market. “The question was: ‘What can we do?’ Well, here’s what we can do.”The treasurer for the organization, Jesten Jay Galland III, 47, is accused of using the center’s account to write checks to himself and his company. Over the course of six years, Galland allegedly zeroed out the organization’s bank accounts, amounting to a loss of $798,202.25. He faces 46 theft-related charges including money laundering, forgery and identity theft. A trial is scheduled for July 21. The building, located at 2500 N.E. 78th St., is home to 17 charitable organizations that include Masonic groups and youth groups.The account that Galland is accused of stealing from, Vancouver Masonic Temple Inc., held funds that were used to maintain the building. But, Johnson said, the organization’s work is what was most affected. Washington Masonic Lodge No. 4 and Mount Hood Lodge No. 32 together own 98 percent of the building. “Ultimately, it takes away from the charity and the scholarships,” he said. So to cover the cost of insurance and taxes on the building, which Johnson said amounts to about $4,500 a month, the members who use the facility have come together to organize a weekly market, calling it the 78th Street Market. Organizers are planning for the market to have a bazaar feel, and feature vendors who sell produce and artisan crafts, as well as live music.last_img read more

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