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    West Marine Donates Youth Life Jackets while BoatUS Foundation Helps by Finding Good “Homes”

    West Marine, the nation’s largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories has teamed up with the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water to give away over 2500 life jackets. West Marine donated the easy-to-wear, type-III vest-style life jackets while the BoatUS Foundation found good “homes” for these critical life-saving devices at camps, for use in programs targeting at-risk youth, and in community swimming and sailing programs. Additionally, the National Safe Boating Council and several state boating agencies in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and Florida received jackets.

    “As part of our BlueFuture initiative, we encourage kids to get out on the water and enjoy boating,” said Chuck Hawley, VP of Product Information for West Marine. “We hope this donation will enable more youth to explore the wonders of our country’s beautiful lakes, oceans and rivers safely.”

    “We looked at the wide variety of summer camp and sailing programs that get youth on the water, and saw a real need,” said Lynne O’Hearn of the BoatUS Foundation. “We greatly appreciate West Marine’s effort and I’m sure the kids will appreciate wearing these comfortable jackets instead of the standard orange horse-collar-type jacket that most camps offer. If kid’s learn early that life jackets can be comfortable, they will embrace wearing them their entire lives.”

    A list of camps and groups receiving West Marine donated life jackets include:

    CA: Mataguay Scout Ranch (Boy Scouts), San Diego
    San Diego Youth Aquatic Center, San Diego
    The School of Sailing & Seamanship / Orange Coast College, Newport Beach
    GA: Camp Meriweather (Girl Scouts), Luthersville
    ID: Camp Four Echoes (Girl Scouts), Worley
    MI: Traverse Area Community Sailing, Traverse City
    Inland Sea Education Association, Suttons Bay
    Maritime Heritage Alliance, Traverse City
    NC: Chestnut Ridge Camp and Retreat Center, Efland
    NJ: YMCA Camp Ralph S. Mason, Hardwick
    NH: Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, Bedford
    NY: Camp Li-lo-li, Randolph
    Sodus Bay Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program, Sodus Bay

    Image courtesy of BoatUS

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