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MRAA Foundation Challenge Enters Final Stretch

Thursday, October 06, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matt Gruhn
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Money raised will fund marine industry training and professional development scholarships

Minneapolis — Colleagues and companies from throughout the retail marine industry have responded in a big way to a special fundraising challenge issued this summer by Dave Briggs, owner of Wayzata Marine. Dave, who will be running the Chicago Marathon this Saturday, Oct. 9, has dedicated his training efforts to supporting the MRAA Educational Foundation and says he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

“There are a lot of people in the boating business who believe in training and education as a path to industry improvement and growth, but to have so many put their money where their mouth is has motivated me during my training and perhaps more importantly strengthened my faith in our industry’s future,” said Dave.

Regular updates on Dave’s training and progress have been posted throughout the summer on his Instagram page — DaveInRea1Life. Pledges in support of the MRAA Foundation Challenge will be accepted through Oct. 8 at

A 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, the MRAA Educational Foundation provides financial support for training and professional development in the recreational boating business. Dave has a personal connection to the Foundation: the Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award, which this year celebrates its 30th Anniversary, was created in honor of his mom.


The Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year honor is just one of the scholarships and awards distributed each year by the MRAA Educational Foundation. The Kevin Lodder Scholarship, ABYC Scholarships, Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship and MRAA Technical Scholarships are all presented by the Foundation annually at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (MDCE). This year’s scholarships and award are expected to be worth more than $25,000 in training and education for people working in the boating business.

Dave will feature the logo of the company, group or individual donating the most to the MRAA Educational Foundation by the end of the day, Friday, Oct. 8 both as part of his activities at the Chicago Marathon and on stage during the Awards Breakfast at the 2016 MDCE, Dec. 5-8, Orlando.


Below are a list of many of the companies and individuals who have already publicly pledged their support for the MRAA Foundation Challenge. The highest single pledge thus far has been $5,000, contributing to a combined total of more than $20,000. Dave’s fundraising goal – in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Darlene Briggs Award – is $30,000.


  • Chaparral & Robalo Boats
  • Parker Cobalt 20 Group
  • Spader 20 Group 104
  • Volvo Penta
  • Chris Craft Boats
  • Four Winns Boats
  • Dave Briggs, Wayzata Marine
  • Tom Johnson, Reed’s Marine
  • Don MacKenzie, Boats Inc.
  • Gavan Hunt, Chris Craft
  • Joe Lewis, Mount Dora Boating Center
  • Paul Sexton, Norman Spencer
  • Nancy Smith, Colorado Boat Center
  • Matt Lodder, Lodder’s Marine
  • Butch Parks, Parks Marina
  • Jay Rasmusson, MarineMax
  • Ryan Good, Chaparral and Robalo Boats
  • David Parker, Parker Business Management
  • Rallee Chupich, Gordy’s Lakefront Marine
  • Rob Soucy, Port Harbor Marine

Donations from independent donors and corporate partners make the scholarships provided by the MRAA Educational Foundation possible. To learn more about donating, or to find more information about the MRAA Educational Foundation, visit

About MRAA Educational Foundation
As part of its mission to create a strong and healthy boating industry, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is committed to offering training, education and professional development opportunities to its members and the entire marine dealer community. In 2004, the association launched the MRAA Educational Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 corporation, to provide financial support for education, training and professional development in the recreational marine trades. 

About the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas

At the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), we believe that for the marine industry to thrive, the companies that interact with the boater in their community must thrive. Those businesses determine the boater’s experience and are the leading factor in the industry’s success. MRAA works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting those businesses, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit