Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Harper Woods Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

HARPER WOODS, MI, Sept. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Harper Woods as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Starr Academy with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, Starr Commonwealth and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 9,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Senior Vice President, Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "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 July when local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create 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.

"Starr Detroit Academy is excited to partner with Foresters and KaBOOM! to build a playground for students and the community of Northeast Detroit and Harper Woods," says Jeremy Vidito, School Director, Starr Detroit Academy. "At Starr, we are committed to providing an educational environment where all students excel both academically and socially. We believe this playground will be a great addition for our students."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, Starr Commonwealth and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,925 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Glide Slide, RockBlocks Climbing Wall and Transfer Station.

About Starr Commonwealth
Starr Commonwealth was founded in 1913 in Albion, Michigan and currently operate campuses in Albion, Battle Creek and Detroit, Michigan as well as Columbus, Ohio. Through the Starr Global Learning Network, three member organizations, TLC, Reclaiming Youth International and Glasswing, have trained over 78,000 professionals in trauma-informed care, building resiliency in children and adolescents and racial healing. The Starr Global Learning Network has equipped professional in all 50 states and in over 50 countries around the globe. Starr Detroit has been operating community-based programs in Wayne County since 1987.  Programs include foster care, youth assistance program, substance abuse and transitional living.

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 89,000 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!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. 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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