The Santa Rosa Plateau Foundation announced Tuesday that nationally recognized sculptor Austin Casson will donate 20 percent of all sales of his works to the Foundation.
Buyers will be able to take the donation as a charitable tax deduction.
Casson creates works in different mediums, including life-sized sculptures of birds of prey, mountain lions, grizzly bears and horses while working in bronze, resin, stone and concrete.
His lifetime admiration for the large birds of prey and horses has been a strong theme in his works.
“Cry Freedom,” a large bronze eagle, presented to former President George Bush Sr. by Howie Long, is now at the Presidential library.
The California Thoroughbred Hall of Fame maintains a permanent Breeder’s Cup Trophy, which features Austin’s “Mare and Foal” bronze.
The proceeds will benefit the 8,000 children from 10 local school districts who participate in the Foundation’s four hands-on environmental education programs for grades 3 – 12.
The Foundation’s mission is to inspire and motivate children to learn and care about the natural world.
“We are hoping the programs plant the seeds to motivate the students to become stewards of the land,” said Ginger Greaves, Executive Director of the Foundation in a released statement.
The program provides nature and science education programs at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.
The four programs that will benefit from the sale of Austin Casson’s sculptured works are: Third grade Education and Outreach, Fifth grade Seed Restoration, Middle School Grassland Restoration and High School Habitat Studies and Restoration.
“Austin Casson has been a donor supporting the children’s programs at the Reserve in the past, but we are stunned and extremely grateful of his generous offer to provide exclusive support to the Foundation from the sale of his marvelous works,” Greaves said.
“If you have never seen the third grade program in action, you are missing a real treat,” said Casson. “Every day a bus load of kids arrives at the visitor center about 9 a.m. Groups are formed under the watchful eyes of several docents and they all sit in the center for an animated introduction by Rob Hicks.”
Casson added, “This guy is a truly gifted teacher and a large group of students become quietly entranced. The silent audience speaks of opening minds. Just take a moment and stop in and see this part, it’s well worth the time to see this program in action. Then each group is taken for an educational hike narrated by these committed volunteer docents who share the wonders of this magical Reserve.”
“There are few places where I can see the clear and long-term benefit of a charitable donation. If even one of these children each day is sparked into a life of loving nature,” said Casson.