West Marine Announces BlueFuture Kids Zone Appearances and 2017 Fundraisers to Support Grants Program

Watsonville, CA, February 23, 2017 —West Marine is making its nonprofit BlueFuture Fund a major priority in 2017. Not only will it host three signature fundraisers to support BlueFuture and its ongoing grants program, the world’s premier Waterlife Outfitter will be sending its BlueFuture Kids Zone activity tent to store grand openings and special events around the country.

The BlueFuture Kids Zone is already preparing to hit the road. To start, it will appear at the eagerly anticipated West Marine store grand opening celebration in Woodbridge, New Jersey, on March 18-19. That same weekend, West Marine also anticipates sharing Mini Kids Zone activities at the store grand openings in Apollo Beach and Spring Hill, Florida.

At the BlueFuture Kids Zone, families are encouraged to participate in a variety of fun Waterlife activities, which include puzzle-making with “pieceless puzzles,” coloring a custom sailboat/underwater scene, and learning to tie nautical knots. Participants receive lunch-tote swag bags complete with goodies, and they also may compete to win prizes in the BlueFuture "Know Your Knots" Challenge.

According to Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications, the BlueFuture Kids Zone activity tent is a valuable tool for public awareness and outreach. In addition to providing family fun at West Marine’s special public events, it encourages children and their families to learn more about Waterlife activities, environments and issues.

"By engaging with them, we hope to spark an interest that will lead them to sailing lessons, Sea Scouts, and all the other outstanding groups that are doing such important work in their communities," Johnson says.

And, the BlueFuture Kids Zone acquaints these families with the BlueFuture grants program as well.

"When we distribute our BlueFuture grants, we providing critical financial support to all those wonderful nonprofit organizations that give young people access to the water," Johnson explains. "To continue providing that support, we need members of the public to know how vital they are to our efforts. We need a healthy BlueFuture Fund so we can distribute our grants to youth-focused, community-based groups twice each year."

To support the continued growth of the BlueFuture program, West Marine will hold its three signature fundraisers again this year: National Safe Boating Week, May 20-26; World Oceans Day June 8; and the Month of Giving, Dec. 1-31.

More information about this year’s fundraisers, and additional BlueFuture Kids Zone appearances, will be available in the weeks to come. To stay up to date, 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. To learn more about BlueFuture and how you can help, visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.

About West Marine

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.

Media Contact

Margo Donohue | press@westmarine | 917.679.6945