West Marine Stores Raise More Than $10,000 to Support BlueFuture Grant Program During “Month of Giving”
Watsonville, CA, January 16, 2017 – During West Marine’s Month of Giving fundraiser in December, Associates and customers in stores across North America joined forces and raised more than $10,000 to support the company’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund. BlueFuture provides 50 grants annually to community-based organizations that are dedicated to getting young people on and around the water.
According to Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications, these BlueFuture grants make a real difference, particularly for grassroots youth programs.
“At the local level, particularly in underserved communities, organizations have to be creative with limited resources,” Johnson says. “Every dollar matters, because the need is so great. BlueFuture grants allow recipients to buy or replace vital equipment, hire experienced staff and fund scholarships so even more kids can have access to the water.”
Each year, West Marine seeks to raise a minimum of $10,000 during the Month of Giving so it can continue funding grants at the current level. Johnson says the team was thrilled to learn it had passed that critical number.
“If we reach $10,000, the BlueFuture Fund can continue to provide 25 grants in spring and 25 grants in fall,” she explains. “It means so much to see our Associates, customers and friends pull together and work hard to meet and surpass that goal for the second year in a row, and we’re deeply grateful to each and every one of them for their generosity during the busy holiday season.”
In 2015, West Marine provided grants to just 29 organizations. In 2016, the world’s premier Waterlife Outfitter was able to increase that number to 50; and, thanks to the 2016 Month of Giving, the company will once again be able to fund 50 grants in 2017. Each is $1,500, and it’s unrestricted — that means West Marine lets the grant recipient determine how the funding should be used.
The spring grant cycle opens April 1 and runs until May 1. Encouraged to apply are 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. Interested applicants can visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture starting April 1, click “Grants,” and fill out and submit an application online.
BlueFuture is a donor-advised fund set up through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and all donations are fully tax-deductible. To learn more about BlueFuture and how you can help, visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.
About West Marine
Each person has a unique connection to the water. At West Marine (westmarine.com, NASDAQ: WMAR), our knowledge, enthusiasm and products prepare waterlife adventurers to foster that connection and explore their passions. With more than 250 stores located in 38 states and Puerto Rico and an eCommerce website reaching domestic, international and professional customers, West Marine is recognized as a leading Waterlife Outfitter for cruisers, sailors, anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts. Since first opening our doors in 1968, West Marine associates continue to share the same love for the water as our customers and provide helpful advice on the gear and gadgets they need to be safe and have fun.