West Marine plans fundraiser for BlueFuture program

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West Marine said it is hosting a 12-day, safety-inspired fundraiser in its stores across North America and at its website.

From May 18-29, the retailer will donate $2 for every West Marine brand personal flotation device purchased (up to $35,000) to the company’s non-profit BlueFuture fund.

The event will coincide with the National Safe Boating Council’s National Safe Boating Week 2017, which takes place from May 20-26.

West Marine said the fundraiser is essential for the continued growth of BlueFuture, which supports a broad range of non-profit, community-based organizations dedicated to providing young people with access to the water.

The program also gives kids the education and equipment they need to spend time on and around the water safely. West Marine director of communications Lindsey Johnson said funds raised during National Safe Boating Week will directly support the fall grant cycle.

“If we hit our $35,000 goal we’ll be able to fully fund 23 of our 25 fall grants,” Johnson said in a statement. “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 Council’s 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, the NSBC and its partners — the Coast Guard Boating Safety Division, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Canadian Safe Boating Council — 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.

These events are intended to raise public awareness of life jacket styles, including inflatable life jackets, and demonstrate their comfort and versatility. Learn more at www.safeboatingcampaign.com.

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