West Marine, a marine retail chain that still operates Canadian locations in Vancouver, BC and Oakville, Ontario, is hosting a week-long fundraiser to commemorate National Safe Boating Week next month.
From May 21 to 27, the company will donate US $5 from each life jacket purchase (up to US $30,000) to its nonprofit BlueFuture Fund, which supports community-based organizations dedicated to getting young people on and around the water in either recreational and educational capacities.
According to Lindsey Johnson, West Marine's Director of Communications, this initiative is critical for the growth of the fund, which distributes tens of thousands of US dollars annually through BlueFuture grants.
"If we can expand BlueFuture through fundraisers like this, we can support more non-profit organizations that are doing good work in their respective communities,' she says. "That means we're also helping to make a difference in the lives of more children. This particular fundraiser also is important to us because we always want to encourage safe, responsible boating.'
The National Safe Boating Council represents more than 330 US and Canadian organizations that are committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience.
In addition to National Safe Boating Week (NSBC) and its partners â€” the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Canadian Safe Boating Council â€” also are hosting "Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day' May 20 and the "Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day' May 21. Such efforts raise public awareness of different life jacket styles, including inflatable life jackets, and demonstrate their comfort and versatility.
According to the US Coast Guard's 2014 Recreational Boating Safety Statistics, drowning was reported as the cause of death in three-fourths of all fatalities, and roughly 84 percent of those who drowned weren't wearing life jackets.