During the month of December, 264 West Marine stores across North America raised more than $18,000 for the company’s not-for-profit BlueFuture Fund. West Marine’s official “Give Back Event” launched the weekend of Dec. 5-6 and concluded Dec. 24, just before the Christmas holiday.
The three-week, holiday-inspired fundraiser gave West Marine customers the opportunity to purchase BlueFuture paper ornaments while visiting their local store locations. One hundred percent of the proceeds collected were donated to benefit BlueFuture’s philanthropic efforts in 2016.
“We were hoping to raise at least $10,000 during our Give Back event, so we were absolutely overjoyed when donations topped $18,000,” says Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications. “We’re deeply grateful to our customers for their generosity during the holiday season, and to our many dedicated associates, who worked tirelessly to make this three-week fundraiser a resounding success. Thanks to so many steadfast supporters across the nation, we’ll continue broadening BlueFuture’s reach and impact in 2016.”
BlueFuture distributes tens of thousands of dollars annually to dozens of not-for-profit organizations that are focused on youth-based recreational and educational initiatives in, on and around the water. Grant funding is critical for these organizations, which strive to offer superior programming with limited budgets and resources.
“We seek to help organizations that are making a real difference in their local communities,” Johnson says. “As always, we welcome recommendations from our associates, vendors, customers and friends regarding worthy grant candidates as we continue pursuing our long-term vision for BlueFuture.”
According to Johnson, West Marine is tentatively planning two BlueFuture grant cycles in 2016 so it can reach even more organizations across the country. Details regarding eligibility and deadlines will be released in the coming weeks.
Last year, BlueFuture provided funding to 29 youth-based organizations. Its 2015 grantees included: Alameda Community Sailing Center in Alameda, California; Sail Sand Point in Seattle; Challenge the Wind Youth Sailing Program in Detroit; Merrohawke Nature School in Newburyport, Massachusetts; New England Science and Sailing Foundation in Stonington, Connecticut; Navesink Maritime Heritage Association in Monmouth, New Jersey; South Carolina Maritime Museum in Georgetown, South Carolina; Kids Can Fish Too in Port Orange, Florida; and Shake-A-Leg Miami, among several other worthy organizations.
West Marine is the world’s leading Waterlife Outfitter. It created the BlueFuture Fund in May 2015 to provide ongoing support to the causes that lie at the heart of its own mission: To nurture marine resources, reduce impact on the environment and promote waterfront recreation.
BlueFuture is a donor-advised fund set up through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and all donations are fully tax-deductible. To learn more about BlueFuture or to make a donation, visit www.westmarine.com/bluefuture.