December 2008

DanPedrottiCarThinking of year end planning? Despite our economic woes and collapse of prices for oil and gas, this may be the year to consider making a donation to one of the Corpus Christi Geological Society’s funds. I know that most of us have serious income tax problems due to the great year we had up until September. Never in my time in the business has there been better product prices and profitability, so let’s not give it all to the new administration to waste.

Our Society has several dedicated funds that could use your financial support. They are: The Don Boyd Continuing Education Fund; The Library Geology Exhibit and CE Project; The Corpus Christi Geological Society History Fund and The Corpus Christi Geological Society Scholarship Trust Fund. All of these funds qualify as tax deductible entities and thus donations to them can help reduce your 2008 Income Tax burden.

The Don Boyd Fund was started by the 1999-2000 Executive Committee as a way of honoring Don Boyd by using some of the proceeds from the GCAGS Convention that was held here under Don’s leadership. The Committee set aside $16,000 for the purpose of furthering the education and understanding of geology and earth sciences in the Corpus Christi area. The idea was to spend the interest from this fund, on an annual basis, for local educational projects such as Field trips for our members, donations to local schools or universities for science equipment, recognizing local teachers or professors for promoting a program to young students that fits the above criteria, to help finance seminars or schools that would benefit our members and to help fund new publications. Unfortunately none of these objectives were funded until Owen Hopkins embarked on our “Maps in Schools, Bones in Schools and Boulders in Schools” projects. Owen was able to solicit significant donations for his projects which passed through the Don Boyd Fund, but actually none of the original $16,000 plus earned interest has been spent, so the fund now stands at around $20,000. There are basically two ways to honor Don by donating to this fund: 1. You may designate your gift to become part of a permanent endowment allowing the principal to grow and thus create increasing interest available for projects or 2. You may designate any specific educational project, and your gift will pass through to be used on a current basis.

The Library Geology Exhibit and CE Project Fund, also begun by Owen Hopkins, envisions a major geologic exhibit at our main library and in each of our branches. The Corpus Christi Geological Society has already committed $30,000 for a mural depicting the fauna and habitat that existed in our area 13,230 years ago. This mural, being created by Dinah Bowman, is based on fossil remains taken from the Swan Lake quick sand pit that was excavated in 1939 near Ingleside, Texas. This pit contained the exact same fauna that was found in the La Brea Tar Pits in California. These fossils are on display in the University Of Texas Memorial Museum on the UT Campus in Austin, Texas. This mural will be placed on the wall in the children’s section of the newly renovated Northwest Branch Library on McKinzie road near IH – 37 Highway. There will also be a sizeable fossil attached to the mural. The plan is to reproduce the mural on posters to be given to all our schools, and the Library is developing a children’s coloring book with each page containing one of the animals and a short quiz to be completed by the users. We have purchased a large limestone block containing a fossil fish – Diplomystus to go in the new Garcia Branch Library near Kaffie Middle School, and we are working on ideas for the Main library and the other branches.

The Corpus Christi Geological Society Historical Fund was created with the vision of capturing the history of South Texas Oil & Gas Exploration through taped interviews with our earlier explorers before they became incapacitated. The project concept was initially started by Alan Costello and Sebastian Wiedmann. The committee is chaired and is continuing to be developed by Ray Govett with heavy encouragement from Joe McCullough. The original plan was to develop these interviews along with other historical facts and photos into a documentary for public television and use in schools. It soon morphed into our great publication – “WOODEN RIGS AND IRON MEN” written by the Walravens that has been such a financial success. We are now pursuing our original goal and have hired Quadrant Productions to solicit funds in the amount of $250,000 through gifts and grants from industry and foundations for this production. Our Historical Committee put up $30,000 as seed money to create a pilot video as a promotional tool. Our funds will be repaid out of proceeds from the documentary.

The Corpus Christi Geological Society Scholarship Trust was established on July 11, 1991 from funds raised by the Corpus Christi Geological Society and matched by the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. It has annually awarded a minimum of five (5%) percent of the fair market value of the Trust property in scholarships to students who are pursuing the major study of geology in colleges and universities. Although not restricted to students of our two local major universities, Texas A & M Kingsville and Texas A & M Corpus Christi, in recent years the scholarships have gone to students of these universities. Today the fund stands at around $70,000 thus allowing us to issue a bare $3,500 to $4,000 in scholarships annually.

The proclamation from the Governing Board of GCAGS that appeared in our November Bulletin was possible because of the great volunteer work of our members that could not have been accomplished without the benefit of the funds I have just described. I urge each of you to give serious consideration to making a year end gift to one or more projects of your choice. I am especially interested in seeing our Scholarship Fund increase to a minimum of $100,000 so that we can fund at least $5,000 in scholarships annually.

I think that we can be assured that tax rates will be significantly higher next year, and there is a good possibility that deductions for charitable contributions will be further restricted or even eliminated, so this may be the best year to make your gift.

Below is a form containing the various funds with instructions on who your check should be made out to and where to send your donation.

Daniel A. Pedrotti
CCGS President


For contributions to the Don Boyd Fund

Make your check payable to the Coastal Bend Community Foundation, and state that it is for the Don Boyd Continuing Education Fund then designate one of the following: Don Boyd Endowment Fund Maps in Schools Project Bones in Schools Project Boulders in Schools Project Any other project that you think should be helped or initiated


Contributions to the Library Geology Exhibits and CE Fund

Make your check payable to the Coastal Bend Community Foundation and designate that the funds are to go to the Library Geologic Exhibits and CE Fund.


Contributions to the Corpus Christi History Fund

Make your check payable to the Coastal Bend community Foundation, and specify that the funds are to go to the Corpus Christi History Fund.


Contributions to the Corpus Christi Geological Society Scholarship Trust Fund

Make your check payable to the Corpus Christi Geological Society, and specify that it is to be added to the Scholarship Trust Fund.

Checks made out to the Coastal Bend Community Foundation should be mailed to the Foundation at 600 Leopard Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78473 or to the Corpus Christi Geological Society, P.O. Box 1068, Corpus Christi, Texas 78403. Any checks to the Scholarship fund should be sent directly to the Corpus Christi Geological Society, P.O. Box 1968, Corpus Christi, Texas 78403.