West Marine has announced the names of the 25 nonprofit organizations that will receive fall 2016 BlueFuture grants. This month, the world’s premier Waterlife Outfitter will present the unrestricted $1,500 grants to the winners, all community-based organizations that are dedicated to getting young people on and around the water in recreational and educational capacities.
“No one understands the needs of a community better than those who live and work there, particularly when it comes to serving at-risk youth and improving youth access to the water,” says Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications. “We want to serve as a valued partner for these organizations as they seek to make a real difference in children’s lives through Waterlife adventure, education and stewardship.”
Johnson also notes that word seems to be spreading about the BlueFuture initiative. West Marine received more than 100 applications this fall, and those applications arrived from every corner of the contiguous United States and as far away as Hawaii.
“Applications are coming from the Great Lakes, the mid-Atlantic, even from the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains and the desert Southwest,” Johnson says. “We’re absolutely thrilled, because it’s apparent that BlueFuture’s message is resonating with the organizations we’re trying to reach. It also demonstrates that you can have access to the water no matter where you live. If there’s a lake or a river, you can have a Waterlife.”
The fall 2016 BlueFuture grant recipients are:
• Aquatic Research & Conservation Society Inc. (ARCS), Little Canada, MN
• Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center, Bellingham, WA
• Bourne Community Boating, Bourne, MA
• Chicago Training Center, Chicago, IL
• ClearShark H2O, Hanover, MD
• Coconut Grove Sailing Club Instructional Center Inc., Coconut Grove, FL
• Community Sailing of Colorado, Denver, CO
• Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC), San Francisco, CA
• Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, Aberdeen, WA
• Guilford High School Voyages and Vessels, Guilford, CT
• Hawaii Kai Boat Club Foundation, Honolulu, HI
• Indian Nations Council, Boy Scouts of America, Tulsa, OK
• L.I.F.T. As We Climb Inc., Newark, NJ
• Lake Havasu Sea Scouts, SSS Heatwave, Lake Havasu City, AZ
• LifeSail Inc., Van Nuys, CA
• Outdoor Outreach, San Diego, CA
• Pass Christian Community Sailing Foundation, Pass Christian, MS
• Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory, Philadelphia, PA
• Project Oceanology, Groton, CT
• North Coast Community Sailing, Bayfield, WI
• Sail Newport, Newport, RI
• Southwest Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, Fort Myers, FL
• Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop, Norfolk, VA
• Tierra Pacifica Charter School, Santa Cruz, CA
• YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, Tacoma, WA
“We congratulate our 25 grant winners, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to all the nonprofit organizations who applied for a fall 2016 BlueFuture grant,” Johnson says. “We wish them all the best and hope they will reapply when our spring 2017 grant cycle opens April 1.”
The names and photos of 2016 fall grant recipients and links to their websites will be posted on westmarine.com/BlueFuture, under the “Our Partners” tab, in the coming weeks.
West Marine’s BlueFuture Fund distributes tens of thousands of dollars annually through its spring and fall BlueFuture grants, allowing community-based groups to provide scholarships, purchase new equipment, support programs and staff, and so much more. It’s a donor-advised fund through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz, and all donations are fully tax-deductible.
To grow the fund, the Waterlife Outfitter conducts three signature in-store fundraisers: National Safe Boating Week in May; World Oceans Day in June; and the Month of Giving, which runs from Dec. 1-31, both in West Marine stores across the country and online at westmarine.com.
To learn more about how you can help, and to make an online donation, visit westmarine.com/BlueFuture.