This column offers just a snapshot of the good being done by those in the oil and gas community. Today, we take quick look back at this year's Charities and Champions.
The year started off with the contributions of William (Bill) Greehey in my hometown of San Antonio, TX. As chairman of NuStar Energy LP and NuStar GP Holdings LLC, Greehey is chairman of the board for Haven for Hope where he raised over $100 million for the facility that focuses not just on providing shelter, food and clothing, but on helping homeless individuals transform their lives by providing them with transformational services like education, job training, drug and alcohol treatment, legal support and more.
Chesapeake Energy, Bank of America, Continental Resources, and Coastal Flow Measurement also found ways to improve the lives of others in their communities. Thanks to a million dollar match from Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake, the largest matching gift challenge in the history of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, and an additional national match opportunity from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, nearly $3.8 million was raised in December 2011 and January 2012 to fight hunger in Oklahoma.
Continental Resources is helping to bring a proactive health movement to Oklahoma City youth. Students at the Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter Schools are now participating in HealthCorps. The program addresses childhood obesity by teaching teens to embrace healthier lifestyle habits and encourages them to spread the message to others in the community.
Coastal Flow Measurement hosted its "Crawin' for the Cure" crawfish boil benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This year's event raised $14,000 to help develop the means to control and someday cure cystic fibrosis, and to improve the quality of life for the children and adults afflicted with the chronic, debilitating disease.
Looking at developing the arts and education this year were Baker Botts LLP, BP America, and IHS.
Baker Botts has been a major supporter of the arts since the 19th century and was honored last fall by Americans for the Arts as one of 2011's Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America. The firm provides pro bono legal services and financial contributions to a variety of arts organizations. In addition to providing opportunities for employees and clients to increase their involvement and exposure to the arts, the firm provides arts education opportunities for K-12 students.
BP America awarded Xavier University of Louisiana a $750,000 grant to help continue summer programs that promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, as well as analytical reasoning and leadership.
IHS granted a software license worth an estimated $4.4 million to UT Arlington's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, giving students and professors access to the latest in petroleum industry technology.
SNR Denton, PetroRiver Oil, and Flotek were also involved in the advancement of others this year.
SNR Denton partner, and co-head of its Energy, Transport and Infrastructure sector, Clint Vince was honored by the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment with the organization's 2012 Champion Award. The award serves to recognize the importance of mentors for women professionals and to honor those individuals who have championed the advancement of women in energy and environment.
Petro River Oil and Flotek both donated $50,000 at a July 25 fundraising event for the National Foundation for Veteran Redeployment, a non-profit organization that seeks to offer career opportunities for our nation's veterans in the US oil and gas industry.
Among others, Shell looked to make a positive environmental impact this year. It partnered with the city of Dawson Creek and celebrated the opening of the Dawson Creek Reclaimed Water Project. The facility will not only reduce Shell's fresh water draw in Northeast British Columbia, but it will provide a new source of revenue for the city as well as additional water for industrial and municipal uses.
Shell was also the lead statewide sponsor of the 26th Annual Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup. The fall cleanup saw more than 9,316 volunteers pitch in and remove 153 tons of trash from 29 sites along 186 miles of Texas coast. Other statewide sponsors included: Apache Corp., AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry, Cheniere Energy, Halliburton, and the Ocean Conservancy.
I offer a sincere ‘thank you' to everyone who participated in the column this year.