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Ft. Lauderdale-based National Marine Suppliers donated $80,650 to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation last night, money the company raised through its annual Poker Run in October and from its party during the boat show in November.
In the past three years the company has raised and donated to the organization more than $250,000.
“We have dedicated ourselves as a company and put so much energy into it for a great cause,” said NMS owner and president Dean duToit, as he unveiled the large check and announced the amount. “We are a supply company, not an event company, but we put our heart and soul into and put on a great event, and the industry gives back.”
The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation is a statewide organization but has agreed to use money from this and previous NMS donations in Broward County, where Ft. Lauderdale is based, so it directly funds the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program that is part of the Broward Health Department. In so doing, the roughly $170,000 NMS has donated up to now has helped more than 8,500 low-income people older than 50 get free diagnostic procedures including mammograms and, if diagnosed, get free after care, said Russell Silverman, executive director of the foundation.
“If you have seen the video [made about these donations], it says 5,000 people have been helped, but that’s wrong,” Silverman said. “Eighty-five hundred people have been helped in year one. And this money will extend that program a couple of years. I expect 40,000 to 50,000 people will be helped with this money.”
The money was raised from donations during the Poker Run and at the NMS party help at Riverwalk on the Saturday night of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Other industry people have made separate and generous donations as well, NMS’s Mary duToit said.
“The whole industry did this,” she said. “We’re making a difference.”
— Lucy Chabot Reed