Ft. Lauderdale-based National Marine Suppliers last night donated more than $63,000 to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation in the name of Chef Michelle Dunnette, who died this spring from the disease.
“She motivated us to carry on the efforts for this charity,” company owner Dean du Toit said in presenting the check. “She was a part of this industry … We’re very proud to be able to donate this.”
“Our promise to you is that 100 percent of this donation will be used here in Broward County,” Russell Silverman, executive director of the statewide charity, said in accepting the check.
National raised the money throughout October during its annual Poker Run, through the raffle tickets sales of a donated Quadski, and from the tip jars at its annual customer appreciation party held during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Capt. Kevin Klar of M/Y Lady Bee and vice president/partner of Dania Cut Super Yacht Refit, won the Quadski and took delivery last night at the event. He bought 10 tickets for his staff, but three employees returned them to him. One of the tickets with his name on it was pulled at the raffle as horns sounded the end of the show. The Gibbs Sports Amphibians Quadski, a mix between a personal watercraft and a four-wheeler valued at more than $48,000.
Du Toit said the company set a fundraising goal above last year’s roughly $30,000. This year’s donation more than doubles that.
“This represents the efforts of the entire yachting industry, not just our company,” du Toit said. “We are part of the most generous industry, to make a difference at this amount. … To my staff, you guys are incredible. I hope you feel as I do, that we are really making a difference.”
Last night’s event also included the company’s monthly celebration of employee birthdays as well as a chili cook-off. Among 10 varieties cooked by employees, Derek Alleman of the provisioning department won.