West Marine taking applications for 2018 grants

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This Sunday, West Marine will begin accepting applications for its 2018 BlueFuture grants. The 2018 cycle will run for two months through Thursday, May 31, with the names of grant recipients to be announced by mid-summer.

“West Marine’s BlueFuture grants are dedicated to help getting more kids out and around the water, no matter what their circumstances may be,” said Doug Robinson, West Marine’s chief executive officer. “As a company, we have been amazed at the number of nonprofits dedicated to helping America’s children learn about life on and by the water. Through this program, West Marine wants to help as many children as possible enjoy the same opportunities our associates have had growing up.”

The following types of organizations are encouraged to apply: nonprofit, community-based organizations that teach sailing, powerboating, fishing, paddling or surfing; boatbuilding instructors; a group that fosters aquatic sustainability and conservation practices; marine sciences instruction. The $1,500 grants are given without restriction and recipients can use the funds as they see fit.

Starting April 1, interested applicants can visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture, click “Grant Info” and fill out an online form. Judges from West Marine will review the applications and announce the 50 winners with a few weeks.

“Our team is passionate about the BlueFuture program, and we look forward to the applications we receive,” said Robinson. “There are many worthy organizations from all over the country, with staff and volunteers working incredibly hard to meet the needs of their local communities. We’re thrilled to do what we can to support their efforts.”

West Marine created its nonprofit BlueFuture program in May 2015 to provide grant funding to charities across North America. Three fundraisers are conducted each year to support the fund’s growth. One is conjunction with National Safe Boating Week in May. The second commemorates World Oceans Day in June and the third is the month of giving in December.