West Marine to host BlueFuture Program fundraiser

To commemorate National Safe Boating Week later this month, West Marine has announced that it will host a 12-day, safety-inspired fundraiser in its stores across North America and on westmarine.com. From May 18 to 29, the manufacturers of West Marine life jackets will donate $2 for every West Marine-brand life jacket purchased (up to $35,000) to West Marine¹s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund.

The company said this fundraiser is essential for the continued growth of BlueFuture, which supports a broad range of nonprofit, community-based organizations dedicated to providing young people with access to the water and with the education and equipment they need to spend time on and around the water safely. According to Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s director of communications, funds raised during National Safe Boating Week 2017 will directly support the fall grant cycle.

“If we hit our $35,000 goal, we¹ll be able to fully fund 23 of our 25 fall grants,” said Johnson. “That would be an incredible accomplishment, to reach that high-water mark in the first half of the year. Then we can focus on raising additional funds to possibly expand the grant program and support even more nonprofit groups that are doing such important work in their communities.

“This particular fundraiser also is important to us because we always want to encourage safe, responsible boating,” she added. “As always, we’re honored to support the National Safe Boating Council¹s efforts as it embarks on its annual North American Safe Boating Campaign, and to do our part to reinforce the council’s rallying cry to Wear It!”

The National Safe Boating Council represents more than 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations that are committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience. It provides safe boating resources online at www.safeboatingcouncil.org.

In addition to National Safe Boating Week, NSBC and its partners the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Canadian Safe Boating Council also are hosting “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” on May 19 and the “Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day” on May 20. Such efforts raise public awareness of different life jacket styles, including inflatable life jackets, and demonstrate their comfort and versatility. To learn more, visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com.

In addition to seeking online resources, Johnson also recommends engaging with West Marine Associates while visiting local stores.

“The summer boating season is upon us, so it¹s the perfect time to become familiar with the different types and styles of life jackets available today and learn how to choose the right life jacket for you,” Johnson said. “Whether you¹re new to the waterlife and need the necessary equipment, or whether you¹re a longtime enthusiast and simply need to update your gear, your life jacket purchases will ensure a safer, more fun season on the water and you’ll be helping provide children around the country with better access to the water through BlueFuture.”

In additional to National Safe Boating Week, West Marine will conduct two additional in-store fundraisers this year to support BlueFuture: World Oceans Day in June and the Month of Giving in December. The fund also encourages year-round donations through its website, www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.

The BlueFuture Fund is a donor-advised fund through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz. All donations are fully tax-deductible, and twice each year, West Marine awards grants to worthy nonprofit organizations across North America. These funds allow community-based groups to provide scholarships, purchase new equipment, maintain staff, add programs and more.

To learn more about West Marine’s 2017 BlueFuture grants or for detailed information about the company’s BlueFuture initiative and how to help, visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.

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