West Marine fundraiser honors World Oceans Day

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In honor of World Oceans Day on Thursday, West Marine will sell “pieceless” puzzles at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., and in 75 select stores across North America.

Each puzzle is available for $10 and all proceeds from puzzle sales June 5-11 will benefit the company’s non-profit BlueFuture initiative, which provides grant funding for youth-based organizations dedicated to giving young people access to the water.

The puzzles feature original artwork from the two winners of West Marine’s second annual World Oceans Art Contest: 12-year-old Alexandra R. of South Windsor, Conn.; and 10-year-old Owen G. of Cream Ridge, N.J.

“We are honored to be part of West Marine’s World Oceans Day Art Contest in support of BlueFuture,” mission programs senior vice president Katie Cubina said in a statement. “It is critically important to connect children to the water as a way to help build stewards for our ocean environment today and in the future. We are proud to help champion this campaign that inspires creativity and engagement.”

BlueFuture is also playing a role at the World Oceans Day Celebration at Mystic Aquarium. Not only will the pieceless puzzles be available for purchase in the aquarium’s gift shop, but a new 30-second BlueFuture video also will be on display for visitors and the BlueFuture Kids Zone activity tent will be at the site.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the world-class Mystic Aquarium for World Oceans Day,” West Marine senior vice marketing president Deb Radcliff said. “We hope to raise awareness, as well as funds. For the sake of our oceans it’s vital that we join forces and help provide America’s children with better access to the water. After all, those who love the water are committed to protecting it for future generations.”

Radcliff said the World Oceans Day fundraiser is critical for the growth of the nonprofit BlueFuture Fund, which distributes tens of thousands of dollars annually through two grant cycles.

“As BlueFuture continues to grow we’ll be able to support even more nonprofit organizations across the country who are having such a critical impact in the lives of their communities’ young people,” she said. “This fundraiser also is important to us because we believe that sustainable practices matter. We also want to see our waterways clean and healthy and our fisheries thriving.”

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