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Dometic Marine employees donate to Sandy relief

Dometic Marine employees provided some support for people in New Jersey who are still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy by donating warm coats, sweaters and blankets.

The coat drive was organized by Dometic engineering laboratory manager Angie Canon and sparked a huge response from staff who wanted to help residents in the Northeast hit first by October’s historic storm and now by cold winter weather.

The donations, targeting people in the East Coast area who lost everything in the hurricane, filled four large boxes and totaled more than 120 cubic feet of parkas, coats, sweaters and blankets.

“The people of Dometic always seem to reach deep for a good cause, and this is one,” Canon said in a statement. “They are very excited about receiving these gifts of compassion up in New Jersey. It's very cold up there on top of everything else, so this is a sacrifice that will help someone at a real time of crisis.”

Canon posted signs around Dometic’s Florida-based office and factory requesting donations following an idea from her 80-year-old mother, Joan Kleczka. She located an Elks Club in Trenton, N.J., that was willing to receive and distribute the donated coats.

“They were ecstatic to get the call,” Kleczka said in a statement. “It doesn’t take much to get things started. American people are the most giving people in the world. Since a lot of people here in Florida don’t own warm coats, many donated blankets instead.”

She also went from house to house in her neighborhood asking for donations and meeting neighbors she never knew before.

Canon handled the collection and packaging of the donations, and Dometic paid the shipping costs.

Dometic also has made a cash donation to help raise $50,000 for the Hurricane Sandy Fund sponsored by Kellogg Marine.

Money raised was matched by the following Brunswick groups (up to $10,000 each): Brunswick Boat Group (16 boat companies), Brunswick Corporate (bowling & fitness, boating), Mercury Marine and Kellogg/Land N Sea.

A check for $2,500 was also sent to local food bank Care & Share in the Niantic section of East Lyme, Conn.

The $50,000 raised will go strictly to boat dealers, marinas and boatyards and will be donated to the New Jersey Marine Trades Association and the Hudson Valley Marine Trades Association, which are the only two legitimate non-profit groups supporting just the marine industry.

Dometic’s dealer network is offering special deals to owners of hurricane-damaged boats on replacement HVAC systems and toilet systems.

Details about these rebates will be available at several Northeast boat shows to let affected boat owners know about the program.

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