West Marine said it will host three fundraisers this year to support its nonprofit BlueFuture Fund and its ongoing grants program and will send its BlueFuture Kids Zone activity tent to store grand openings and special events around the country.
The fundraisers will be held during National Safe Boating Week, May 20-26; on World Oceans Day, June 8; and during the Month of Giving, Dec. 1-31.
The Kids Zone tent will appear at the West Marine store grand opening celebration in Woodbridge, N.J., on March 18-19. That weekend, the retailer also anticipates sharing Mini Kids Zone activities at store grand openings in Apollo Beach and Spring Hill, Florida.
Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s director of communications, said the Kids Zone 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 said in a statement.
She said the Kids Zone also acquaints families with the BlueFuture grants program.
“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,” she said.
“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.”