West Marine said today that associates and customers in its North American stores raised more than $10,000 during the retailer’s Month of Giving fundraiser in December to support the company’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund.
BlueFuture provides 50 grants annually to community-based organizations that are dedicated to getting young people on and around the water. Each year the company seeks to raise a minimum of $10,000 during the Month of Giving so it can continue to fund grants at the current level.
“If we reach $10,000, the BlueFuture Fund can continue to provide 25 grants in spring and 25 grants in fall,” West Marine director of communications Lindsey Johnson said in a statement.
“It means so much to see our associates, customers and friends pull together and work hard to meet and surpass that goal for the second year in a row, and we’re deeply grateful to each and every one of them for their generosity during the busy holiday season.”
In 2015 West Marine provided grants to just 29 organizations. In 2016 the company was able to increase that number to 50; and, thanks to the 2016 Month of Giving, the company once again will be able to fund 50 grants in 2017. Each is $1,500, and it’s unrestricted, which means West Marine lets the grant recipient determine how the money should be used.
The spring grant cycle opens April 1 and runs until May 1. Encouraged to apply are nonprofit, youth-focused, community-based organizations that teach sailing, powerboating, fishing or boatbuilding skills; foster aquatic sustainability and conservation practices; and encourage learning in the marine sciences.
Interested applicants can visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture, starting April 1, click “Grants,” and fill out and submit an application online.