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West Marine Donates Youth LIfe Jackets While BoatUS Foundation Helps by Finding Good "Homes"

Photo Caption: The kids with the Traverse Area Community Sailing program in Traverse City, Michigan, enjoy their new, comfortable life jackets thanks to the goodwill of the boating products retailer, West Marine.
Download hi-res photo.
WATSONVILLE, Calif., August 27, 2012 – 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
About West Marine:
West Marine, the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, has more than 300 company-operated stores located in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada and five franchised stores located in Turkey. Our Direct-to-Customer division, which comprises our call center, direct mail and e-commerce channels, offers Customers over 75,000 products plus the convenience of exchanging catalog and e-commerce purchases at our Store locations. Our Port Supply division is one of the largest wholesale distributors of marine equipment serving boat manufacturers, marine services, commercial vessel operators and government agencies. For more information on West Marine's products and store locations, or to start shopping, visit or call 1-800-BOATING (1-800-262-8464)
About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half-million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to