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This year's Ben Waller Memorial Scholarship Auction will be held
during our November meeting on November 1, 2014!
Hope to see you there.

President's Message

November 1st Meeting
Ben Waller Memorial Scholarship Auction
with Dr. Bob Sinibaldi

A tradition changes. For the past 25 years, TBFC has held our annual Ben Waller Memorial Scholarship Auction at our December meeting.  That tradition end’s this season as TBFC hosts our annual auction at the November 1st meeting.

Scheduling changes at USF have pushed our December meeting from the first Saturday of the month, to the second. This put the December meeting right into the thick of the holiday season and attendance has plummeted at that meeting.   We’ve talked about it for the past couple of years and have finally decided to move the December auction to November. So here we go…

TBFC’s November meeting will host our annual Ben Waller Memorial Scholarship Auction. This will be your best opportunity to pick up some fossils, artifacts, and all sorts of “paleo” related goodies for your favorite fossil hunter. Or, what the heck, to keep for yourself! And it’s all for a good cause. Proceeds will benefit the numerous scholarships TBFC awards throughout the year.

There will be lots of “paleo” items available in the auction from all of the generous folks who donate to this worthy cause. So, if you have a bunch of those pesky meg teeth laying around, or too many mammoth molars to fit under your bed, consider donating them to this excellent cause! If you don’t have any fossils you’re ready to part with yet, a big heart and a deep wallet is all you need. What makes the Ben Waller Memorial Auction a success… is YOU!

TBFC’s auctioneer extraordinaire will once again be our very own Dr. Bob Sinibaldi. His booming voice and silly anecdotes keeps the auction interesting and a not to be missed show. I hope to see a good crowd on hand to help us raise some money for TBFC. We’ll have lots of great paleo-items to auction off including a good supply of legally collected artifacts.

And… to make it easier for you to purchase items from TBFC’s auction and paleo store, we now take credit and debit cards!

Fossil Day 2014!
At the Florida Aquarium

I would like to thank all of the volunteers who made Fossil Day 2014 a great event for TBFC and the Florida Aquarium: Joseph Branin, John Cronin, Louis Garcia, Bill Faucher, David Faucher, Barbra Fite, Leigh Gledhill, Mike & Debbie Kennedy, Sam Milligan, Roger & Teresa Morgan, Austin Morgan, Katherine Beegue, Debbie Porter, Seina Searle, Dr. Bob Sinibaldi, Darren & Nicole Watts, and last but not least, the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) sent Alex Kittle and Katy Cummings.

As you know, thousands of people visit the Aquarium on a Saturday and many of them stopped by each of the fossil displays we set up. Shark teeth are always a crowd favorite, and the Kennedy’s did a great job setting up a display with lots of large megs, other teeth, books, posters, and even some of the equipment used to find fossil shark teeth. And the best part was that the fossil shark tables were right in front of the Aquarium’s shark tank. Visitors could hold a fossil sand tiger shark tooth in their hand, then turn around and see its modern counterpart swimming behind them.

The Morgan’s set up a table near Sting Ray Bay where they displayed stingray and skate fossils, and gave out free fossil stingray barbs to interested visitors. Joseph Branin brought in freshwater fish fossils from the Eocene of Wyoming that he and Sam Milligan displayed. Dr. Bob and Barbra Fite manned a table displaying fossil alligator, birds and wood. Dr. Bob explained to folks the long history of alligators while less than a few feet away, a seven foot gator slept in a tank. And right next to the modern day starfish and anemones, the FLMNH set up shop with a great table of inverts and grab bags for the kids (and some excited adults).

At TBFC’s main table we displayed Florida fossils and awarded children who participated in a “fossil hunt” with prizes and a Junior Paleontologist badge.  It was a great day! I can’t wait to check the P.O. Box in a week or so to see if we attracted any new members to TBFC.

I hope to see lots of you at the NOVEMBER 1st auction!

Good Hunting,

Michael Searle