West Marine bag design contest raises $3,860 for BlueFuture Fund

West Marine’s first-ever World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest has raised more than $3,800 for the nonprofit BlueFuture Fund.

For the contest, the company invited youth ages 5-12 and 13-18 to submit original artwork inspired by the 2016 World Oceans Day theme — Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. A panel of West Marine judges selected a winner in each age group, and select West Marine stores across North America sold 773 reusable, ecofriendly bags featuring the winning artwork at $5 apiece.

All proceeds benefited BlueFuture, which provides grants to community-based, nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to getting young people on and around the water in both educational and recreational capacities. West Marine distributes BlueFuture grants twice a year — in late spring and early fall.

According to Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications, this year’s World Oceans Day fundraiser for BlueFuture was a success on more than one level.

“To start, our week-long fundraiser brought in the resources to fully fund two grants for worthy nonprofit organizations this fall, and to partially fund a third,” she said. “That’s a very big deal to the organizations that apply. Many of them are volunteer-run, grassroots efforts, and a $1,500 BlueFuture grant makes a real difference.

“The World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest raised public awareness as well,” she said. “It helped spread the word about what we’re doing with BlueFuture, and what it means to support a ‘blue future’—giving young people from all walks of life access to waterlife adventure, education and stewardship.”

World Oceans Day is a major annual fundraiser for West Marine, allowing it to grow the BlueFuture Fund, reach more nonprofit organizations across the country and, ultimately, have a greater impact in children’s lives. To learn more about West Marine’s BlueFuture initiative, visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.

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