Throughout West Marine’s December “Month of Giving” fundraiser, associates and customers in stores across North America and online joined forces to raise more than $40,000 in support of West Marine’s BlueFuture program. BlueFuture provides grants annually to community-based organizations across the U.S. that are dedicated to getting young people on and around the water through boating, fishing, paddling and the marine sciences.
“West Marine is committed to “life on the water,” and that includes engaging our youth and doing all we can to enrich their lives and inspire a desire for spending time on the water,” said Ken Seipel, CEO, West Marine. “One hundred percent of the money raised for BlueFuture goes into the grants, allowing recipients to buy or replace vital equipment, fund scholarships, hire experienced staff or create new programming, all of which allow these grassroots groups to give back to the kids in their community.”
In 2018, 50 nonprofit organizations were awarded unrestricted grants in the amount of $1,500. This type of grant allows the recipient to determine how best to use the funds. Since 2015 more than 150 organizations have received grants through the program.
The next grant cycle will open in March. Nonprofit, youth-focused, community-based organizations that teach sailing, powerboating, fishing or boatbuilding skills; foster aquatic sustainability and conservation practices; and encourage learning in the marine sciences are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants can visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.
BlueFuture is a donor-advised fund set up through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and all donations are fully tax-deductible.