For its 30-year anniversary in 2021, Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats threw a year-long celebration of philanthropy for local charities in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Fla., where the center console, catamaran and V-bottom company has lamination and rigging facilities, and beyond. But when the party was over, so to speak, Nor-Tech founder Trond Schou and the additional board members vowed to keep the company’s charitable efforts going.
Captured here during its 2021 customer-appreciation event in Key West, Fla., the Nor-Tech team is working in concert with the Cape Coral Caring Center and Mercury Racing to support Hurricane Ian victims in South Florida. Photo by Cole McGowan copyright Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats.
Now the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ian in the area has created yet another opportunity for philanthropy, and Nor-Tech is responding in typically strong fashion in support of the Cape Coral Caring Center, a 32-year-old volunteer-staff food pantry. Through October 31, Nor-Tech will match donations to the nonprofit organization, which is able to put 91 cents of every dollar it collects toward acquiring food for those in need.
“We have participated in food drives with the Cape Coral Caring Center in the past, but what we’ve learned is that every dollar they take in buys eight dollars’ worth of food because of the contracts and purchasing power they have,” said Trond Schou, Nor-Tech’s chief executive officer. “So, we are matching donations up to $25,000 made to the organization’s website identical to Mercury Racing’s generous pledge.”
Cape Coral Caring Center executive director Julie Ferguson met with the Nor-Tech management team and community leaders earlier this week.
“Immediately after Hurricane Ian, our vendor partners including Mercury Racing reached out,” he continued. “Mercury Racing also is matching donations for the Cape Coral Caring Center. We are hoping to create the largest online charity event in the history of Cape Coral.”
To help spark the project, Nor-Tech reached out its network of dealers, which ranges as far west as Texas and as far north as Canada.
“We got a 100-percent commitment of support from our dealer network,” said Geoff Tomlinson, Nor-Tech’s dealer manager. “Every dealer, including John Kray of Sportboats Marine whose dealership in Fort Myers Beach was literally washed away, donated to this cause. The response has been overwhelming.”
In addition to the Nor-Tech dealer network and the collaboration with Mercury Racing in charitable contributions matching, Nor-Tech vendors have also contributed to the cause in other ways. Nick Dwyer from Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilization systems dropped off a truckload of clothing and non-perishable essentials. Alex Cardenal from North American Composites arranged multiple deliveries of sanitizing goods and personal hygiene products.
Both donations can be used directly by the Cape Coral Caring Center.
Minus the devastation of a catastrophic weather event such as Hurricane Ian, the Cape Coral Caring Center largely focuses on assisting lower-income people in the Cape Coral community. But with the Category 4 storm wreaking havoc on the surrounding communities, the organization’s role has expanded. Its services are open to anyone in need.
“Right now, even people who may have not needed our services beforehand have lost their homes and need help,” explained Julie Ferguson, the outfit’s executive director. “So we are helping everyone. When people come to us, they are usually at the lowest point in their lives. Often, they’re embarrassed. We let them know that is OK to be here.”
The team at Nor-Tech has been gathering necessities for the Cape Coral Caring Center, its employees and the local community for the better part of two weeks.
Rated by Charity Navigator—an online portal designed to help would-be donors find their way to the most effective charities—the Cape Coral Caring Center has a 100-point score, which is the highest rating possible.
“One of things I’m most proud of is that we have a waiting list of volunteers,” said Ferguson. “Some of them are dealing with their own flooded houses, but they still want to be here so much to help people.”
Click here to donate to the Cape Coral Caring Center.
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