Grow Boating and PAC fundraising dinner planned for Miami

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The first industrywide fundraiser to benefit Grow Boating and the Boating Political Action Committee that is set for February, just before the opening of the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, is starting to take shape.

The dinner, slated for Feb. 12 at the Botanical Gardens in Miami, will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a full dinner, dancing, a silent auction “and other surprises,” said Michele Goldsmith, who is on the board of the National Marine Manufacturers Association accessory manufacturers division, where the idea originated.

The event will benefit both the PAC and Grow Boating because of federal legal parameters that restrict who can donate to the PAC, Goldsmith told Trade Only Today.

“If we had done this only for the PAC it would’ve been a very exclusive event and only have extended to people who fit those legal parameters,” Goldsmith told Trade Only. “Opening the event up to advocacy and Grow Boating made it a very inclusive event. We expect people from all segments of the marine industry. We didn’t want different rules and regulations about who could attend.”

Attendees who meet the standards set by the federal government can choose whether they’d like to contribute to the boating PAC, which seeks to remove obstacles faced by manufacturers, or to the Grow Boating campaign. If they don’t meet the legal parameters for contributing to the PAC, the money will automatically go to the Grow Boating campaign unless the guest chooses to donate it to the administrative side of the boat PAC, Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith expects about 550 attendees. “We expect we’ll run out of tickets,” she said.

Tickets are not on sale yet, but Goldsmith expects them to be available for purchase sometime after the American Boating Congress on May 8 and 9.

“It’s going to be a fun night, and hopefully we raise a lot of money,” Goldsmith said.

— Reagan Haynes