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Geological society raises $3,000 for scholarships

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By Kirsten Laskey

The interior of the Masonic Temple glittered and shone with rocks polished and displayed to show their finery Dec. 1-2. The Los Alamos Geological Society revealed a few natural treasures during the annual Earth Treasure Show.While admission was free, people could purchase items from a silent auction or try their luck at the Wheel of Fortune–spinning a wheel to win a prize. Additionally, geodes were for sale.The proceeds from both activities went toward scholarships for New Mexico university students participating in the New Mexico Geology Society Fall Field Conference. The Los Alamos society raised $3,000.Eric Neilson, treasurer for the geological society, said Thursday the amount raised was more than in previous years. In fact, he said, records had been set in the silent auction and geodes sales.Neilson credited good attendance, the number of nice specimens brought in from the New Mexico Mineral Museum in Socorro and the donation given by Challis Thiessen, who was a long-time member of the geological society.During the show, geological society member Barbara Carlos commented on the turnout. “It’s been a good turnout; people like to do their Christmas shopping,” she said.In addition to the silent auction, geodes and Wheel of Fortune, vendors set up booths and geological members displayed their own rock collections.It was Akaria Raa’s first time at the Earth Treasures Show. “Someone in a rock shop in Albuquerque recommended the show,” she said.Earl Hoffman, a geological society member, said he has been in Los Alamos since 1975 and have been participating in the club for 30 years. “(I) have a lot of friends in the club,” he said. During the show, Hoffman said he “enjoys seeing them. It’s a social thing as well as seeing new fossils, minerals.”“(It’s) just interesting,” Mark Whett of Los Alamos said. “Just beautiful things. Some unusual things you don’t see everywhere.”It was the fossils that caught the attention of Isaac Wiens, 11. “They’re interesting and I really like them,” he said.Daniel Ahrens, 11, is another rock fan. “I like looking at how diverse everything is,” he said. “I like getting rocks because they’re fun and they don’t run away.”The next big event the geological society will host will be banquet during its January meeting.