´╗┐September 2016
Bats Beer & Bluegrass - A Success 

The first annual Bats, Beer, & Bluegrass fundraiser was a huge success. Barefoot Nellie and Co. played to a sold out crowd at Fricks Cave Preserve. Over $20,000 was raised for SCCi's Stewardship Endowment Fund.  Thank you to all the sponsors, voluneteers and donors. SCCi made a great first impression on many people in the community. 
If you would like to support the Stewardship Endowment Fund, send an email to info@scci.org and we will let you know how.
Mark September 13 on your calendar for next year!
Caves as Living Laboratories 
SCCi caves are more than just great places to visit. Research is conducted regularly to better understand caves and cave dwellers. Recently, John Phillips from the University of Tulsa conducted a study on cave salamanders at Sinking Cove. John’s research focuses on evolution and ecology of cave-dwelling salamanders like the Tennessee Cave Salamander. He uses DNA to answer questions about how these cave salamanders have evolved and colonized an extreme habitat.
John is studying differences in the genomes of cave salamanders vs. surface salamanders using around 10 species of cave-dwelling salamanders in North America. In particular, he is looking at genes crucial in eye development, but also other functions that may be affected by a cave environment like metabolic genes, genes for different sensory systems, and circadian rhythms. Additionally, John does biogeography and conservation genetics on reptiles and amphibians including the cave-dwelling Grotto Salamander in the Ozark Plateau and the underground aquifer-dwelling Georgia Blind Salamander of the southeastern Coastal Plain.
Research Team L to R: Erich Bell (Cleveland State Community College), Kelly Smallwood (Chattanooga Grotto), John G. Phillips (University of Tulsa), Nick Gladstone (University of Tennessee)
In Memory 
On Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, we lost a very special person. Maury Benamy was 55 and, as he would say, “feelin’ alive.” He appeared to be in great health and was very active. He went caving and hiking whenever the opportunity arose and was always up for the next adventure.
He loved his two daughters, Cora, 14, and Caitlin, 18, with all of his heart and would do everything in his power to make them happy. He loved his business and those involved in it. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Rest in peace, Maury.
Survivors include daughters Cora and Caitlin; mother Gloria Benamy; sister and brother-in-law Lauren and Danny Kahn; the mother of his children, Teresa Benamy; aunt Rita (Ronnie) Klee; uncle Joel (Toni) Adler; and a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Fredric Benamy, of blessed memory.
- from atlantajewishtimes.com
Road to Valhalla  
With many thanks to Buddy Lane, Treasurer and Valhalla Preserve Manager; Birmingham Grotto; and other volunteers, the improvements to the road to Valhalla have begun. The work should be completed this fall and will once again provide for vehicular access.
Help SCCi Grow! 
In October, SCCi will kick off 2K 2016. This is an effort to double SCCi's membership to 2000 members by the end of 2016. You can sign up and use cool social media tools to share SCCi's mission and recruit new members.
If each SCCi member recruits just one new member, we will meet our goal. Start thinking about the people in your circles. Are they cavers, outdoor enthusiasts, or just people that believe in preserving great underground landscapes? 
Recruit five members and we will send you a SCCi t-shirt or hat. 
39th Annual TAG Fall Cave-In 
SCCi is grateful to the Dogwood City Grotto in helping us celebrate SCCi's 25th Anniversary. This year promises to be as exciting as ever. If you haven't registered yet, you can visit the link below to sign up. Be sure to buy a t-shirt which honors SCCi's 25th anniversary.
Supporting SCCi Made Easy 
Did you know that you can support SCCi every time you buy something? Using the Amazon link below, SCCi will get up to 5% of everything you buy. That is more money for acquisitions and stewardship of the great caves of the Southeast. Bookmark it and use it whenever you are shopping online
In This Edition
Volunteer Survey
When SCCi was small, knowing everyone's talents and interests was easy. Now with 1,000+ members, we need your help. Please take this brief volunteer skills and interest survey.
When an opportunity arises (and there are many), we can reach out to those people who have shown an interest in that specific area of volunteer work.
You Can't Take It With You
Did you know there is a way to support SCCi after you're gone? The Valhalla Society is made up of people just like you that have made SCCi a part of their estate planning.
It can be as simple as making SCCi a beneficiary for all or part of your insurance policy or including SCCi in your will. 
If you would like to talk about your options and ways you can support SCCi through legacy giving, please call Ray at 423 671 9671 Ex 101 or send an email to legacy@scci.org.
Grotto Talks
Would you like to have SCCi's Executive Director speak at your next grotto meeting? Send an email to marketing@scci.org and let's get you on the schedule!

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Address postal inquiries to:
Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc.
PO Box 250
Signal Mountain, TN 37377-0250

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