Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize San Antonio Community with New Playground at Carver Branch Library

Playground to enhance family well-being

SAN ANTONIO, TX, Sept. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in San Antonio as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Carver Branch Library with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the San Antonio Public Library, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 24,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"We at Foresters believe 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.

"The Carver KaBOOM! Playground is an exciting project that enhances the library campus and encourages our kids to engage in healthy play," said District 2 Councilwoman Ivy R. Taylor. 'We look forward to continuing the relationship with Foresters in an effort to better serve children and families in the area."

"I am excited about the opportunity to work with Foresters, the San Antonio Parks and Recreation department, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, and especially, Councilwoman Ivy R. Taylor, to bring a KaBOOM! Playground to the children and families who call the Carver Branch Library their own," said Library Director, Ramiro S. Salazar. 'Projects like these are so important to the fundamental physical and social development of our children."

"We are pleased to join with the San Antonio Public Library in partnership with KaBOOM! to build a playground that will be enjoyed by many children in the years to come," said Parks and Recreation Department Director Xavier Urrutia. "We also offer our thanks to the volunteers who are stepping up to make this play opportunity possible. It's truly a team effort."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the San Antonio Public Library, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,400 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as multi-functional panels for younger children ages 2-5, both infant and ADA-compliant swings, and an entire area dedicated to children ages 5-12.

A passionate advocate for family well-being, Foresters recently launched the Tech Timeout™ challenge, which encourages families to take a pledge to turn off all electronic devices for an hour a day for one week.  For more details, visit techtimeout.com.

About The City of San Antonio
A Model City for all America: San Antonio
San Antonio is a model city for the new face of America—a diverse, progressive and globally competitive city with a solid vision for national and international economic development. In 2012, San Antonio was named an All-America City by the National Civic League. The City of San Antonio maintains a strong financial position with a "AAA" general obligation bond rating from all three major rating agencies. The Milken Institute has ranked San Antonio No. 1 on its Best-Performing Cities list. As the seventh-largest city in the United States, San Antonio is experiencing solid economic growth in 21st century industries such as bioscience and healthcare. Biotech companies and healthcare systems in San Antonio contribute billions to the local economy. The Aerospace industry remains a dominant economic strength in San Antonio with the presence of several aviation and aerospace corporations, including the military. The military has had a significant relationship with San Antonio for more than 200 years and is home to several military commands. The city is also a cybersecurity hub; nationally recognized as a leader in the field of information security.  San Antonio is positioning itself to be at the forefront of the New Energy Economy in the United States, committed to investing and creating employment opportunities in green industries. The travel industry also remains a consistent growing economy for the city, as millions of people visit San Antonio on a yearly basis. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.

About the San Antonio Public Library Foundation
An initial gift of $50,000 in 1903 from New York philanthropist Andrew Carnegie brought a free public library to a city isolated from the outside world by the great expanse of Texas. While the City of San Antonio expanded the public library system and staffed it through the years, public funding alone was not sufficient to keep pace with the needs of a growing population and to meet the Library's long-term needs. The San Antonio Public Library Foundation (SAPLF) was established as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization in 1983 by local business and civic leaders to augment the San Antonio Public Library's budget with support from several sources including individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations. The mission of the Library Foundation (www.saplf.org) is to support the San Antonio Public Library and to increase the awareness and use of the Library through financial support and programmatic efforts, thereby enhancing the community's appreciation and utilization of the library as a vibrant cultural and educational institution.

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 over one million 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.

Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. 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. 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 because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 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 an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE Foresters



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