Desmasdon’s Boat Works is celebrating their 75th year in business and generously making a donation that will kick off the Georgian Bay Biosphere’s matching donor campaign. From April 19th to April 30th, charitable donations will be matched by Desmasdon’s up to $7,500. The campaign is to honour the work of the Biosphere and their fundraising goal of $15,000.

Established in 1946, Desmasdon’s Boat Works has grown to be the largest, full service marine facility in Pointe au Baril. Tonia and Andy Blenkarn have been owners since 1998 and now share ownership with Nicole and Matt French. Together, they also operate Beacon Marine. The businesses are well known for their friendships with customers, professional service and boat sales of Grady-White, Key West, Stanley, Limestone, and Rossiter brands.

“Georgian Bay isn’t just a place, it’s a special community,” says Tonia. “As members of the community, it is important to us that it is vibrant and that Georgian Bay is healthy, so that it can continue to be enjoyed by families now, and for centuries to come.” 

The Blenkarns have been strong supporters of the Biosphere for over a decade. They are members, corporate sponsors of events, and environmental leaders. A member of the “Clean Marine” initiative, they work hard to voluntarily meet globally ranked environmental standards, and have even achieved the highest 5-Diamond performance. Other environmental commitments include the installation of Sea Bins, to help filter garbage and microplastics out of the water. “Together, we can all make a difference in the Biosphere region,” says Andy.

“Desmasdon’s Boat Works has played a big part in our success and vitality as an organization over the past decade. We are so grateful for their continued support and commitment to our matching donor campaign,” says Ron Chase, Chair of GBB. “They share our passion for sustainable development and exemplify our values in the way they operate their business.”

As a charity, a fundraiser of this size has a big impact on what programs are possible. “Biosphere reserves receive no financial support from UNESCO nor do they receive operating funds from government,” explains Greg Mason, the GBB’s General Manager. “Our work is made possible with the generous support of our partners and donors.  We simply wouldn’t be able to do the education and conservation work that we do without the generous support of our community – which is awesome!”

Other businesses are invited to join Desmasdon’s Boat Works and Beacon Marine to help GBB reach their fundraising goal. Visit gbbr.ca/double to learn more.

Earth Week matching poster, Desmasdons