The MRAA Educational Foundation said it exceeded its goal of raising $20,000 this year to provide financial support for education, training and professional development in the recreational marine trades.
The foundation said it hit its goal during the recent Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
Immediately after the conference ended, the foundation received another contribution that pushed the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas beyond its initial $20,000 goal. The foundation said it continues to receive donations as the new year approaches.
“We are inspired by the generosity that allowed the foundation to reach this critical milestone in 2014,” MRAA director of education and foundation executive director Liz Walz said in a statement.
“By contributing to the foundation’s award and scholarship funds, donors are helping to grow and develop the marine industry’s workforce, thus building a brighter future for the boating business. A big ‘thank-you’ to all of those that offered their support.”
Prior to the start of the conference, the foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation, had raised $7,400 in 2014. Donations secured at and immediately after the November event topped $12,000, pushing the foundation over its goal and helping fund several key educational opportunities.
“Donations made to the MRAA Educational Foundation directly contribute to the education and training of this industry’s exceptional crop of current and prospective professionals,” said Ed Lofgren, president of the foundation’s board and CEO of 3A Marine Service in Hingham, Mass.
“The foundation relies on these contributions not only to help marine retailers find qualified people, but also to develop them. Training and education is paramount in our industry, and the foundation exists to ensure marine retail professionals and the many that follow are the best equipped to provide an exceptional customer sales and service experience.”
During the MDCE, the foundation handed out nine scholarships and awards that together represent $34,120 worth of technical training and professional development.