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A bright, blue future

Shane Boutchyard (left), West Marine manager in Washington, hands a $2,000 BlueFuture grant check to Sound Rivers volunteer Guy Blackwell (middle) and Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell (right) on Monday. West Marine’s BlueFuture grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations dedicated to getting more kids on the water through boating, fishing, paddling and marine science. During December 2020, West Marines nationwide held donation drives, in which customers could round up a bill to donate to the BlueFuture cause. The Washington store ranked in the Top 10 of donation-getters in a field of 245 stores. “We have a personal relationship with Sound Rivers, and we’ve been lucky enough that this is the third year in a row that we’ve been able to give to someone local,” Boutchyard said. “The majority of our support this year came from West Marine pro customers.”