New Jersey trade group raises money for businesses hit by Sandy

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Since Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, help has been directed at easing suffering for those who lost homes, belongings and power for weeks.

Now a coalition is raising money for the many marine dealers and boatyards that were devastated in an effort to help an industry that was battered by the storm.

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey formed a Hurricane Recovery and Relief Fund to help marine dealers and boatyards affected by Sandy.

Bob Staehle, vice president of new business development for Brunswick parts and accessories companies Land N Sea, Kellogg Marine and Diversified Marine, helped spearhead the endeavor.

More than 200 people attended the annual Marine Trades of New Jersey Christmas Party Thursday night in Spring Lake Heights, N.J., where the trade group announced the fund.

Staehle presented a $25,000 check, which came from his Hurricane Relief Fund raised at the Kellogg dealer trade show in November at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.

Staehle also raised a little more than $10,000 in contributions from vendors, reps, trade associations, dealers and employees, which was matched by Brunswick Corp., Mercury Marine, Brunswick Boat Group and Kellogg/Land N Sea for a total of $50,000 for the effort.

The second $25,000 will be going to the Hudson Valley Marine Trades Association for its hurricane relief fund.

Anyone interested in donating to relief funds that will go directly to marine dealers and boatyards are asked to send to:

Marine Trades Association of New Jersey Recovery & Relief Fund, 2516 Highway 35, Suite 201, Manasquan, NJ 08736

— Reagan Haynes

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