With a little help from its vendor and dealer friends, Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats based in Fort Myers, Fla., secured enough funding to purchase 3,000 KN95 protective masks for frontline workers at Lee Health, a leading health-care provider in Southwest Florida.
Imported by Norwegian and devoted Nor-Tech client Hans Othar Blix, the 3,000 masks are in addition to the 1,000 masks already produced in-house at Nor-Tech.
Captured here during the company’s 2019 dealer meeting, the Nor-Tech crew worked with vendors and dealers to purchase 3,000 European KN95 masks for frontline medical workers. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedontehwater.com.
“My neighbor is a doctor in town, and he told me they needed masks,” said Trond Schou, the high-performance center console, catamaran and V-bottom sportboat company’s co-founder. “The hospital supplied us with the materials we needed to make masks—it’s the kind of sterile material they use in operating rooms—and we donated to them back to the hospital.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, a lot people in our community were out of work and had no money for food,” he said. “The $1,200 checks from the government hadn’t come—people were starving. So we started a food drive for local pantries.”
Nor-Tech’s vendors rose to the challenge when asked to contribute toward the purchase of the KN95 masks. The company secured donations from Nor-Tech dealer Bob Crow and SoFlo Boats in South Florida, the Florida Powerboat Club, Missouri-based boat-cover company and Nor-Tech dealer Marine Concepts/Midwest Boating Center, Mercury Racing in Fond in Wisconsin and PPG/ABE Reliable Paint.
“When Henrik Margård (Nor-Tech’s vice-president of manufacturing) asked if we could help, we didn’t think twice,” said Randy Kent, the owner of Marine Concepts and Midwest Boating Center. “The entire marine industry has supported and helped our companies grow to what we are today, so we wanted to help in any way possible.”
Among Nor-Tech’s strongest vendor partners, Mercury Racing was quick to help.
“We are always happy to support our partners, and the efforts of Nor-Tech during the COVID-19 pandemic are admirable,” said Steve Miller, the director of marketing, sales and service for the Fond du Lac, Wis., company. “By donating to this cause, we feel that we are also contributing in a meaningful way. This is such an important effort to support wherever and whenever we can.”
Likewise, Florida Powerboat Club president Stu Jones responded to the call without hesitation. And Jones plans to take it another level with his own clients.
“It was a no brainer to make a donation from the Florida Powerboat Club to support the cause,” he said. “And I’ve offered to present this donation opportunity to some of our club members. If everyone does just a little bit, it goes a long way.
Added Jon Smiley, MYCO’s director of new business development, “When MYCO Trailers heard about the fantastic humanitarian aid project that Nor-Tech was putting into place, we knew that we had to do our part to support them. Regardless of the disaster at hand, the marine community is relentless in its support of those in need. This has been demonstrated time and time again. We are here for the community now and will be in the future.”
According to Margård, Nor-Tech isn’t finished just yet.
“I’m still working on a few more donors but I’d like to get this first round of donations delivered,” he said. “If we gain more traction then obviously the hospitals will accept more donations at a later time.”