Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Charlotte Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

CHARLOTTE, NC, Oct. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Charlotte as their ideas and drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Reid Park Playground with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the Reid Park Neighborhood Association, Habitat Charlotte and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 8,250 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Bruce Burak, National Sales Manager US Sales, Foresters. "A playground is an important piece for the revitalization of a community. Not only does it provide a first step towards keeping children healthy, but it's a safe, central location for the entire neighborhood to get together."

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in August when Reid Park children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to inspire the final playground design.

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! with almost 100 playgrounds built or planned across the U.S. and Canada. Over their 15 year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 2.6 million children and their families with an opportunity to spend quality time together. Foresters is a KaBOOM! National Partner and a founding member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle - a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission.

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the Reid Park Neighborhood Association, Habitat Charlotte and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,500 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Triple Racer Slide, Rockblocks Climbing Wall and a Tic-Tac-Toe Activity wall.

"I have wonderful memories of playing with friends in a safe and special place when I was a child. Now we have an opportunity to create these same delightful memories for our Reid Park children!" says Harriette Mahoney, president of the Reid Park Neighborhood Association.

About Reid Park Neighborhood Association
Historic Reid Park in west Charlotte is a proud, progressive, and spirit-filled neighborhood of beautiful homes and loving families where children and gardens grow. The Association's mission is to inspire neighborhood initiatives that make Reid Park a safe, beautiful and self-sufficient community.

About Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte
Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte transforms lives by partnering with families and our communities to create and preserve affordable home ownership solutions. Since 1983, Habitat Charlotte has served more than 1,150  families by building and repairing homes for families in need. Visit www.habitatcharlotte.org or call 704­376­ 2054 for more information.

About Foresters
Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference.  The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with almost 950,000 members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more information, visit foresters.com.

Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,100 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE Foresters



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