West Marine said its first World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest raised more than $3,800 for the non-profit BlueFuture Fund.
West Marine said it invited youths ages 5 to 12 and 13 to 18 to submit original artwork inspired by the 2016 World Oceans Day theme — Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.
A panel of West Marine judges selected a winner in each age group, and select West Marine stores across North America sold 773 reusable, eco-friendly bags featuring the winning artwork at $5 apiece.
West Marine communications director Lindsey Johnson said this year’s World Oceans Day fundraiser for BlueFuture was a success.
“To start, our weeklong fundraiser brought in the resources to fully fund two grants for worthy nonprofit organizations this fall, and to partially fund a third,” Johnson said in a statement. “That’s a very big deal to the organizations that apply. Many of them are volunteer-run, grassroots efforts, and a $1,500 BlueFuture grant makes a real difference.”
“The World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest raised public awareness, as well,” she added. “It helped spread the word about what we’re doing with BlueFuture, and what it means to support a ‘blue future’ — giving young people from all walks of life access to waterlife adventure, education and stewardship.”
Teen winner Amber Davis, of Key Largo, Fla., created a piece of art depicting a sea turtle gliding past two objects, a jellyfish and a plastic shopping bag, accompanied by the words, “Do you see a difference? A turtle does not.”